I was honored to attend this year’s MLB Diversity Business Summit, in New York City. The host team for 2014 was none other than the Yankees, who went above and beyond to make this year’s Summit one to remember.
A vast array of 1,300 job seekers, entrepreneurs and business leaders flocked to the Hammerstein Ballroom at the Manhattan Center all with one goal in mind–to get involved with Major League Baseball. The event gave all in attendance unprecedented access to all 30 Major League teams, and resources to the Minor Leagues, as well.
The day began with a rousing introductory speech given by the woman who helped get this Summit started, Wendy Lewis. I had the privilege of interviewing Wendy prior to the Summit; we spoke in depth on ways to diversify the sport, so suffice to say it was almost surreal to take her up on her word and try to help diversify the sport by staking my own claim in getting noticed by MLB Teams.
Guests were able to tour the sprawling center in Mid-town Manhattan and pick which teams they wanted to get a word in with and find out how to touch base with the team’s HR. Interviews were scheduled for attendees and the opportunity to standout on a one-on-one was fulfilled.
In my observation, most of those in attendance were still in school or about to graduate and was in search of jobs with MLB which mostly had nothing to do with the on-field aspect. Most students I spoke to were in other fields, such as business, finance, analytics, etc…the true beauty and essence of the Summit was to showcase the dozens of career paths MLB has to offer.
The evening was spent at the iconic Yankee stadium, where the Yankees formally ‘broke in’ the brand new Legend’s bar, which prior had been a memorabilia shop. A tour of the stadium and the chance to get on the field was offered. Attendees had the chance of a lifetime to step onto the field at Yankee stadium to experience the history of the franchise first hand. Having grown up a huge Yankees fan, this is a memory which I will never forget.
The Summit as a whole proved highly successful and motivating, and to think that was just day one. The 2-day Summit will conclude tomorrow with the unveiling of the Nelson Mandala plaque at Yankee Stadium to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day.