BIG HORN — Michael Jensen had one goal growing up, a simple and feasible one — to attend a professional sporting event. On the surface, it sounded like a relatively uncomplicated dream, save for one problem — cancer.
Jensen, a Big Horn native, has since won his battle with cancer and has seen so many professional contests he’s lost count. Jensen overcame his health issues, transitioned from rural Wyoming into a bigger-city lifestyle and now works for the Boston Red Sox.
“I’m a kid in a candy shop,” Jensen said. “… It’s just a thrill ride, and I pinch myself all the time. I can’t believe, sitting in Big Horn, Wyoming, when I was 13 or 14 in 1988 just wanting to watch a pro game. Now, I get to go work every day and talk with people every day — ownership and athletes. I really like what I do now.”
Jensen works on the events staff at Fenway Park as a greeter. He gets to share his enthusiasm toward baseball with countless fans each and every game day in one of the most iconic ballparks in the world.
Jensen played sports as an adolescent for the Rams but dealt with his fair share of health problems, mainly Hodgkin lymphoma. Jensen met the adversity head on and turned himself into an All-State player for the Rams’ basketball team.
“He was one of those kids that worked extremely hard,” said Chuck Wells, Jensen’s high school head basketball coach. “He was at the gym at 6 in the morning most days and Mike became an All-Conference and All-State player. He made incredible gains and overcame adversity.”
Amid his battle with cancer, Jensen discovered a passion for a more behind-the-scenes aspect of the sporting world. He dove head first into sports nutrition, sports performance and player marketing, among a few other avenues.
That blossomed into the start of a career. Jensen tested the sport-consulting-firm waters. He made connections and did some work for the Golden State Warriors and the Seattle SuperSonics in the early 2000s.
Unfortunately for Jensen, the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City in 2008, and all the connections Jensen made had moved nearly 2,000 miles southeast.
“I thought I’d really hit the jackpot, and then you get a call from the Sonics, and you’re talking with them, and then all of sudden it gets sold,” Jensen said. “You think that’s the end, and it’s kind of demoralizing.”
It was at this time when the small-town Wyomingite took a leap of faith, in a sense, and uprooted his life on the West Coast and moved to the East Coast, to the sports mecca of Boston.
Jensen started a sports nutrition store and another consulting firm, but that didn’t last long as Celtics.com scooped up Jensen’s talents.
The new position allowed him to work for the Boston Celtics, the Red Sox and Boston College University, and after a few years of that, Jensen found the position on the events staff at Fenway Park.
“It’s amazing,” Jensen said. “There’s that famous line in (the movie) ‘Moneyball’ where Brad Pitt is asked why he took the call from the owner, ‘Because it’s the Boston Red Sox,’ and that’s kind of how I feel about it. You’re talking about one of the elite franchises in the world. … I get to work at the most historic and iconic ballpark in all of America.
“Every day I get there, the first thing I do is take a look at the field, take it all in for a second and go do whatever I need to go do. I feel blessed, and it’s exciting every single day.”
Jensen talks with fans and VIPs, shows them around and helps them out with anything they need. He speaks about the history of the park and what’s currently going on inside the Red Sox organization.
Jensen’s future goals involve working his way up the ladder and into a front-office position. He’d like to work with the more day-to-day happenings with players and the organization.
But for now, the one-time Big Horn resident will continue to pinch himself periodically, hoping to never awaken from his dream life.