NASHUA, N.H. -- Ronnie Wallace's life has been defined by baseball.

Wallace was a standout pitcher/hitter at Tewksbury High who went on to pitch at Division 1 UMass Amherst. It was during his collegiate career that Wallace came to the realization that he wouldn't pitch at the professional level. But this hasn't prevented him from pursuing a career in the game.

He interned with the Lowell Spinners as a Food and Beverage manager during the summer leading into his senior year at UMass. By the end of his internship, Wallace was offered a full-time job for the 2013 season as the director of concessions for the Nashua Silver Knights, a summer baseball team competing in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL) that is operated by the Spinners.

Ronnie Wallace... general manager of the Nashua Silver KnightsSun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.
Ronnie Wallace ... general manager of the Nashua Silver Knights

Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

Wallace, 23, made such a favorable first impression in Nashua, he was promoted to the Silver Knights' general manager's post last October. During his playing career, Wallace, who graduated from UMass in 2013 with a degree in Sport Management, faced his share of Major League prospects. These days he runs a ballclub filled with many top college prospects.

"It's crazy," said Wallace. "I never thought in a million years this is what I'd be doing for a job. But I've fallen in love with the business aspect of running a team. I wasn't expecting to become a general manager so soon. But when they offered me the position I was extremely happy. It's a great title to have at such a young age.


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"People see that I'm a general manager and they automatically think of (current Red Sox GM) Ben Cherington and (former Red Sox GM and current Chicago Cubs president of Baseball Operations) Theo Epstein. I'm like no, no, no it couldn't be more different. I enjoy the baseball aspect of dealing with players, but my job is more along the lines of the minor league business model, with everything based on promotion. With the big league GM it's all about players -- evaluations, transactions and contracts. My primary responsibilities are concessions, public relations and stadium operations."

Wallace is only a year removed from throwing his final pitch at UMass, where he was team captain for the 2013 season. A hard throwing right-hander, he still looks like he could take the mound for the Silver Knights. Wallace says he has taken a few swings in the batting cage (and claims his swing is as sweet as ever), but doesn't throw any batting practice. He leaves the coaching and player development to his staff, while focusing his full attention on baseball operations.

The Silver Knights are averaging just over 1,000 fans a game at home this season, according to Wallace. Nashua had a 13-13 record heading into Tuesday's game at the Torrington (Conn.) Titans.

"I like to be hands on in everything I do," said Wallace. "It would drive me nuts if I wasn't. I try to watch as much as I can during our games. There are times when the baseball guy comes out in me. I think things, but I don't say it. After most games I will go in and meet with the coaches and we talk about who is doing well and who's struggling. But my baseball input doesn't go much beyond that."

Wallace also played football at Tewksbury High. He was a four-time Merrimack Valley Conference all-conference selection in baseball. Wallace teamed up with Scott Oberg to form a dynamic one-two pitching combination while at Tewksbury. Oberg, who played his college ball at UConn, is a reliever in the Colorado Rockies' minor league system.

At UMass, Wallace was four-year varsity letterman. He was used as a reliever in college. As a senior in 2013, Wallace was 2-1 with one save in 23.1 innings over 12 appearances, and was the recipient of The Dennis DellaPiana Memorial Award, given to the UMass player who best exemplifies courage, determination and sportsmanship.

"He was a special player," said Tewksbury High baseball coach Ron Drouin. "He was a four-time Merrimack Valley Conference all-conference player. We haven't had many of those guys in this conference in the 21 years I've been around. He was a great competitor. He always wanted the ball. He was a pleasure to coach. I wish we had more guys like him."

The will to succeed that Wallace relied upon on the mound serves him well in his new role as a GM. 

"Ronnie is a baseball lover, a baseball lifer," said Drouin. "I can absolutely see this being the career for him. He's passionate about baseball. He has great people skills. He's obviously knowledgeable having been a very successful college player at UMass.

"He's a great kid and his family is rock solid. It's nice to see one your former players have success with their life. I follow the Silver Knights on Twitter and he's very active on social media, reaching out to the fans. He's doing a really good job."

Many of the players on Silver Knights' roster are local and Wallace played with and against several of them in high school. Silver Knights player Jimmy Ricoy, a former Lowell High star who plays his college baseball at UMass Lowell, played against Wallace in football and baseball.

"My senior year at Tewksbury I played quarterback against Lowell and Jimmy Ricoy intercepted one of my passes and turned it into a pick-six," said Wallace. "We joke about it all the time.

"The players know about my baseball career. When I talk to them I tell them to keep pushing for that shot (at professional baseball) right to the end. You never know when a scout will be at a game who likes how you play. All it takes is one scout to like you. That's what I always tell guys."

The Silver Knights are heading into the stretch drive of the regular season and Wallace is confident the club will earn a playoff berth.

"I wouldn't trade places with anyone job wise," said Wallace. "I look forward to coming to the ballpark every day. The one drawback is it's summer time and you can't go to the beach as much as you'd like, but I don't care because I love my job."

Follow Carmine Frongillo on Twitter and Tout @cwfrongi