York College students meet Joe Maddon, Billy Beane at MLB Winter Meetings
Cody Burd couldn’t believe it. The York College of Pennsylvania junior had just shaken hands with Joe Maddon, the first manager to lead the Chicago Cubs to a World Series title since 1908.
“I was actually kind of starstruck around him,” Cody said, “but I was able to say congratulations.”
His run-in with the Cubs skipper came while he and a group of York College students attended Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings outside of Washington, D.C., in early December.
Every year, baseball executives and staff, media, exhibitors and job seekers converge at the Winter Meetings to network with peers, fill job openings, attend workshops and discuss innovating trends in the industry.
From attending the Professional Baseball Employment Opportunities job fair to seeing the commotion when a major trade went down, Cody said being at the Winter Meetings was an all-around great experience.
Highlight of the trip
Another York College student, Peter Panassow, also brushed shoulders with a big name in baseball during the event.
While standing in the lobby of the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, Peter exchanged pleasantries with Oakland A’s executive vice-president Billy Beane, whose philosophy revolutionized some of baseball’s thinking in terms of player procurement – something that led to the book “Moneyball.”
“He was someone that I look up to in a way,” Peter said. “He seemed like a really personable guy, which makes me like him even more. I would say that was the highlight of the trip.”
The business of pro baseball
Many of the students in attendance at the MLB Winter Meetings seek employment in professional sports, something that baseball, with its many minor league affiliates, can possibly provide.
The PBEO Job Fair and networking offered chances to explore the possibilities of finding employment, as well as providing attendees with valuable insights into the business of professional baseball.
On average, about 500 jobs are posted at the Job Fair annually, many of which are entry-level positions or internships. Some others are for those with baseball experience or a related background looking for the next challenge. The majority of clubs will hire for positions beginning in January of the following year.
“It was a pretty whirlwind experience,” Peter said. “You have about 400 potential job seekers in one room. They would post job listings on one board; you’d have to go and submit your resume in the drop box. It was kind of neat to connect with other job seekers there. They are in the same position you are.”
An Accounting major set to graduate in 2018, Cody is hoping to land an internship for the summer, while Peter, a senior Sport Management major, received an offer from Sports Info Solutions, a sports analytics company.
Peter will intern at Sports Info Solutions as a part of his senior curriculum, where students gain work experience during their final semester.
“I was able to meet with them at the MLB Winter Meetings,” he said, “and that played a role with me getting it.”