On this day in 1987, I was formally offered my first full-time job in baseball. The offer was delivered via telephone by the Assistant General Manager, who began to tell me where he could be reached over the holidays so I could give him my response. I cut him off with, “Are you kidding? I accept the offer right now.”
I was in employment limbo after having lost a job in July, 1987 and I had no idea what I was going to do next. I had been working for this team as a consultant since October of 1986 and actually gave them an ultimatum telling them that if they didn’t offer me a full-time job by the end of the year (1987) then I would no longer work for them in any capacity. Of course it was a giant bluff, but it worked. What would I have done if they had called my bluff? I guess we’ll never know.
The best part of the day was calling my marvelous mom to give her the news. After I told her I heard the phone drop and I heard her crying with joy. She was the only other person in the world who believed I could get a job in baseball and with the hometown team, no less. It is a GREAT feeling to be right when virtually the rest of the world is wrong.
I only wish I could reprise that feeling. What did I do with my opportunity in baseball? In the Third Edition of Total Baseball I was described as “the analyst who has risen the highest and had the most influence.” This was before I was named Director of Baseball Operations for a major league team. When baseball’s “Golden Boy” was hired to his first General Manager job he named me as one of the two people who had most influenced the way he thought about baseball. Of course, after his appointment as Grand Poobah of his current organization he did not have the decency to reply to any of my attempts to contact him. “A truly great person will neither trample on a worm nor sneak to an emperor.”
I will never accept being classified as obsolete by baseball or by the rest of America. However, I can take solace in the fact that I created a 20+ year career for myself, basically out of thin air, in “America’s Pastime.” Oh, I have been receiving a baseball pension, albeit not a large one, for more than four years.
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