Carig: How a fellowship aims to open a door in baseball’s front offices

From Marc Carig at The Athletic on February 19, 2020, with mention of SABR member Tyrone Brooks:

They came together for the first time in June of 2018, chosen specifically for their potential to redefine baseball’s front offices. Their commonalities included talent, smarts, and a desire to begin long careers in the game. It’s not the kind of group that lacks motivation. But there could be no mistaking the stakes. So, Tyrone Brooks looked out into a room filled with the kinds of faces that he’d rarely encountered during his climb to the executive suites — faces that resembled his own. He explained that their actions would “determine whether this program continues.”

“That was probably the most impactful thing that was ever said to me,” said Mark Watson, one of the faces in the crowd. “I still carry it to this day.”

These days, Watson, 23, is a newly-hired baseball operations assistant with the Tampa Bay Rays. It’s the type of job that could provide the foundation for a front-office career. He wouldn’t have been aware of it had it not been for baseball’s Diversity Fellowship Program, an initiative created to increase the ranks of women and minorities amongst the game’s decision-makers. The inaugural class consisted of 22 recent graduates and young professionals, who landed with 18 teams and the league office for 18-month fellowships. At the end of the first cycle, 19 remain in the industry. A new class is expected to be announced in mid-April to coincide with Jackie Robinson Day.

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Originally published: February 20, 2020. Last Updated: February 20, 2020.