There are a couple other sides to the winter meetings that you guys don’t usually get to hear about, read about or see, so I figured I’d share them with you this morning. My day started early – 7 a.m. to be exact – as I met with a group of students from Indiana University, my alma mater.
A huge portion of the people at the meetings are young students or people right out of college seeking jobs in baseball. There’s a huge job fair in which hundreds of minor league teams (and some big league clubs) hire employees for the upcoming season. Chris Haydock, our assistant director of player development, and I, both went to school at IU and a group of kids who came down asked to meet with us so we gladly spent some time chatting with them about how to crack into the industry.
After that, I had breakfast with two former Dodger colleagues, Tom Seidler and Dan Simon. Tom, whose mother was a co-owner of the Dodgers with the O’Malleys, owns the Visalia Oaks, a minor league team in that town. Dan, who used to design all sorts of merchandise and other things at the Dodgers, now owns his own company called Studio Simon, which is responsible for designing a huge portion of minor league logos, brand identities and the like. Not surprisingly, he actually designed all the logos for the Winter Meetings, too.
Dan has a booth at the trade show here and Tom came to see many of his clients at the trade show, which is another huge portion of what goes on behind the scenes. Every imaginable promotional company, bat maker, bobblehead creator, etc. is here trying to get baseball teams to utilize their services for the coming season.
Anyway, those are two sides of the meetings that rarely get any attention, so I figured you might enjoy hearing about it. Stay tuned for more news later today.