Who knew that when Jackie Robinson made his baseball debut in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers that not only did he break baseball color barrier lines, but he also started a revolution to diversify the baseball field and the Major League Baseball offices?
On July 24, 2012, the inaugural Major League Baseball Diversity Business Summit took place at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago and was hosted by MLB and the Chicago White Sox. The summit was a sports diversity employment and business opportunity trade fair.
Roosevelt Hubbard saw this as an excellent opportunity to get his foot in the door with MLB. “It lets people know that there’s hope. Before this, I never knew any way to get into the MLB besides food service and different underpaid jobs,” says Hubbard.
Other attendees saw this summit as an opportunity to learn about MLB and be among a diverse group of people who also wanted to do business with the MLB.
Domingo Bastardo saw the Summit as a great opportunity to not only learn about the vast opportunities that are out there for him, but to also be among a diverse group of people. “You get to meet other people from other clubs, diverse people from other cultures, ethnic groups, you get the opportunity to interact,” says Bastardo.
Hundreds of people came out to network and learn about the business of baseball from presidents and CEOs of MLB clubs. Attendees received advice ranging from how important internships are to how important it is to “Get in the door and prove yourself,” as the president of the New York Yankees Randy Levine explained.
Which is something these hopeful job seekers soaked in as they listened to Levine; Jerry Reinsdorf, chairman of the Chicago White Sox; Bill Bartholomay, chairman emeritus of the Atlanta Braves; Derrick Hall, president and CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks; and George Postolos, president and CEO of the Houston Astros.
The Summit was a great opportunity for job seekers like Dacia Hobson and Corlene Dixon, who were looking for possible positions that would suit them. “I’m looking to gain a position or some more insight about the MLB and what positions they do offer,” says Dixon.
“This is a great opportunity for minorities who are skilled and have the skill sets to be able to show … how qualified they are,” says Hobson.
Jerry Reinsdorf said it best, “Baseball is America”; and the Diversity Business Summit was a great American experience for all who participated.