UT Press Steps Up to the Plate—Staff Baseball Photos!

Take your friends and family out to the ballgame on Saturday, September 9, at The Long Time for a day at the ball park benefitting the publishing program at UT Press! To celebrate our partnership with the social aid and pleasure club the Texas Playboys and their Step Up to the Plate series, we are featuring members of our staff who have cleats in their closets from days gone by. Check out the UTP baseball roster below and see how these major players have contributed to our publishing program and supported our authors in bringing world-class scholarship and books to your bookshelves!

Please consider donating $10 or more to UT Press at bit.ly/SupportUTPress. By doing so, you’ll also be automatically entered into the game day raffle, which includes tons of cool stuff from the Press, the game’s sponsors, and friends. Though you don’t have to be present to win, we hope you’ll join us at the game on SEPTEMBER 9—gates open at 11, game starts a 3 pm! Astros and Asterisks editor Jonathan Silverman will be signing copies of his book and chatting with baseball fans and we’ll have plenty of outstanding books on hand at a great discount.

UTP Staff Baseball Roster

Robert Devens, Director

As one of three solid Chicago natives on staff, Robert Devens is a veteran in the university publishing industry. He spent thirteen years at the University of Chicago Press, joining the University of Texas Press team in 2013 as assistant editor in chief, assuming editor in chief the following year, and adding assistant director to his title in 2018. Robert was promoted to director in 2020 and since then has been on a hit streak with an award-winning list of architecture, urban studies, U.S. history, and American studies books. As a big fan of blues and jazz, Robert’s walkout hype song is Gary Clark Jr.’s “Bright Lights.”

  • 200+ BAs (books acquired)
  • 12 RPOs (red pens owned)
  • 50+ BWADs (books with awards and distinctions)

Gianna LaMorte, Assistant Director, Marketing & Sales Manager

As the most vocal vegetarian hot dog aficionado on staff, and yes, the second of three UTP Chicagoans, Gianna LaMorte needs no introduction, for many out in the publishing world know her name. She is the boisterous, outspoken lifeblood of the marketing team—managing from the dugout (her office) and occasionally getting into a scuffle or two when things get hairy on the mound (supply chains haven’t been the same since the pandemic began). From her beginnings at Random House in 2000 promoting the likes of Gail Caldwell, Rick Bragg, and Toni Morrison, Gianna brought her talents to UTP in 2009 and helped shape the press into what it is today. Don’t mess with this Longhorn, unless you want the horns. In fact, Gianna’s walkout hype song pretty much says it all: Blondie’s “Rip Her to Shreds.”

  • 9,000+ CSCs (career sales calls)
  • 100,000+ MTTBs (miles traveled to bookstores)
  • 80 dB (decibels of laughter and applause at sales presentations)
  • 30 MBAs (music books acquired)

Bill Bishel, Assistant Director, Information & Business Systems Manager

Press clipping from Bill Bishel's past
Bill was so good at baseball, his skills were photographed and published. Caption reads: Bill Bishel awaits pick-off move from pitcher.

Bill is from California, but made his way to Texas as soon as he could. As Information & Business Systems Manager, Bill wears many hats at UTP. He has overseen countless software changes and optimizations, kept our technology cutting edge, and helped ensure that our internal data systems and processes run smoothly! Truly an MVP! With lyrics like “There’s nothing you can throw at me / That I haven’t already heard,” this jack-of-all-trades publishing professional’s hype song is U2’s “Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of.”

  • 1,000 HRRs (help requests received)
  • 500 RBIs (remote backup incidents dealt with)
  • 0 SBs (security breaches)
Press clipping from Bill Bishel's past

Uriel Pérez, Advertising and Exhibits Coordinator

Advertising and Exhibits Coordinator Uriel Pérez
Uriel Pérez on deck at a local batting cage

A clutch member of UTP’s formidable marketing team, El Paso’s own Uriel Pérez ensures that our books are beautifully featured in print and digital ads, shepherds our books and authors at annual society and association meetings and conferences, and provides an unquantifiable amount of great ideas and historical press moment assists, like the time he and Senior Editor Jim both wore yellow shirts, jeans, and sneakers on the same day. Uriel’s walkout hype song? Girl Talk’s “Shut the Club Down.”

  • 350 APs (ads placed)
  • 55 EBs (exhibits booked)
  • 3.6 Ts (tons of books shipped)

Cameron M. Ludwick, Assistant Marketing Manager, Publicity and Communications Manager

Assistant Marketing Manager, Publicity and Communications Manager Cameron M. Ludwick
Cameron with some sweet, sweet UTP swag

A Kentuckian through and through, Cameron Ludwick’s job is talking. Talking about books, that is! As a publicist, she notched a New York Times bestseller with Hanif Abdurraqib’s 2019 book Go Ahead in the Rain and has been chasing that high ever since. Enlisting a total legend for her hype song, she’ll be stepping up to bat to Rihanna’s “Shut Up And Drive.”

  • 300 BPs (books pitched)
  • 2,500 MHs (media hits)

And now . . . in our best stadium announcer voice, please welcome to the field . . . your UT Press baseball legends! We don’t have a T-shirt cannon (YET) but we invite readers to consider donating $10 or more to support our books and authors.

Give before the game on September 9, and you’ll be automatically entered into the game day raffle to win prizes! Though you don’t have to be present to win, we hope you’ll join us at the Long Time. We’ll see you there!