The following story was submitted by Connor Starrs, a 2015 fellow of The Perfect Game Foundation.
I first reached out to Del at the end of my junior year of college hoping to learn more about the business of baseball. Del and the enormous professional network that he has developed at TPGF were an incredible resource for me and instrumental in my success. Del was there for me every step of the way and introduced me to people involved in scouting, data analytics, and Spanish language as I searched for my path in baseball. Del makes the TPGF Fellow feel as if he has been waiting his whole life to help you find your passion and break into your chosen industry.
First and foremost, you can never meet and network with too many people. Success in baseball (and in pretty much every other profession) is about developing and nurturing relationships that allow you to grow your network and learn from people that have more experience and knowledge than you. Del and the TPGF allowed me to develop the requisite professional base needed to reach out to people in baseball and establish meaningful and long-lasting connections. Del preached this to me and I think that there is no better advice to someone looking to break into the baseball industry. MLB teams are looking to hire people that they believe can “add value” to the organization. Whether your passion is in scouting, player development, analytics (or on the business/marketing/HR side), you need to show teams HOW you can provide value to them with an independent work sample/project that displays your skill set and interests. Having a strong work ethic with an attention to detail and ability to work on a team are prerequisites for the job…what sets you apart is a demonstrated skill coupled with a work sample that proves that you can provide added value to the organization on Day 1 of your new job/internship.
"There is no substitute for Excellence – not even success. Success is tricky, perishable and often outside our control; the pursuit of success makes a poor cornerstone, especially for a whole personality. Excellence is dependable, lasting and largely an issue within our own control; pursuit of excellence, in and for itself, is the best of foundations,” The Heart of the Order, by Thomas Boswell (Doubleday, 1989).