Imperfect Roads to Becoming a Baseball GM
Though it certainly doesn’t hurt, you don’t have to play pro ball or go to an Ivy League school to become a GM. Here are the ‘imperfect’ roads taken by the current class of *general managers, listed in reverse chronological order:
Dan Duquette, Baltimore Orioles
Amherst College, 1980
Played baseball as a catcher at Amherst College. Started his career with the Brewers as a scouting assistant. Served as General Manager of the Montreal Expos (1991-1994) and Boston Red Sox (1994-2002). Named General Manager of the Orioles in November 2011.
Terry Ryan, Minnesota Twins
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Physical Education and Health, 1979
Drafted in the 35th round by the Twins in the 1972 MLB Draft. Hired as a scout by the Mets in 1980. Returned to the role as General Manager of the Twins in November 2011 on an interim basis.
Jed Hoyer, Chicago Cubs
Wesleyan University, 1996
Graduated from Wesleyan where he played baseball and worked in the admissions office and alumni/development office. Hoyer coached at both Wesleyan and Kenyon College before joining the Boston Red Sox. Named General Manager of the Chicago Cubs in November of 2011.
Jerry Dipoto, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Drafted in the 3rd (71st overall) by the Indians in the 1989 MLB draft
Played baseball at the collegiate level at the Virginia Commonwealth University. Retired in 2003 and become a scout for the Red Sox. Named General Manager of the Angels in October 2011.
Ben Cherington, Boston Red Sox
Amherst College, 1996 | University of Mass., Amherst, Sport Management, Master’s Degree
Began in baseball operations for the Red Sox in 1999. Served briefly as co-general manager of the Red Sox with Jed Hoyer during Theo Epstein’s absence. Named General Manager of the Red Sox in October 2011.
Sandy Alderson, New York Mets
George Mason, Pre-Law, 1969 | Harvard Law School, Master’s of Law
Leaving a private law practice in 1981, Alderson began his baseball career by joining the A’s General Counsel. Served as General Manager of the A’s from 1983 through 1997. Spent time as Padres CEO before being named General Manager of the Mets in October 2010.
Josh Byrnes, San Diego Padres
Haverford College, B.A. in English, 1992
Graduated from Haverford where he played baseball and earned a B.A. in English. Started his professional career as an intern for the Cleveland Indians in 1994. Served as a General Manager of the Diamondbacks (2005-2010). Named General Manager of the Padres in October 2011.
Kevin Towers, Arizona Diamondbacks
Drafted by the Padres in the 1st round of the 1982 MLB draft
Pitched for BYU prior to signing with the Padres. Became a minor league pitching coach for the Cleveland Indian affiliates in 1989. Named General Manager in September of 2010.
Chris Antonetti, Cleveland Indians
Georgetown University, Business Administration, 1996
Hired as an intern in the Expos’ front office in 1999. Named General Manager in February of 2010.
Alex Anthopoulos, Toronto Blue Jays
McMaster University, Economics, 1998
A year before Antonetti, Anthopoulos was hired as an intern with with the Expos. Named General Manager of the Blue Jays in October 0f 2009.
Dayton Moore, Kansas City Royals
George Mason University, Physical Education and Health, 1989
Began in 1994 as a scout for the Braves. Named General Manager of the Royals in August 2009.
Rubén Amaro Jr., Philadelphia Phillies
Stanford University, Human Biology, 1987
Drafted in the 11th round (292nd overall) by the Angels in the 1987 MLB draft. Played outfield for the Phillies from 1991-1998 before serving as an Assistant to the General Manager. Named General Manager of the Phillies in November 2008.
Jack Zduriencik, Seattle Mariners
California University of Pennsylvania, 1974 | Austin Peay State University, Master’s Degree
Played pro ball in the White Sox farm system (Gulf Coast League White Sox and Single-A Appleton Foxes). Earned a bachelor’s degree in education at California University of Pennsylvania. Coached both baseball and football while earning his master’s at Austin Peay State. Began his front office career in 1983 as an Area Scout. Named General Manager of the Mariners in October of 2008.
Walt Jocketty, Cincinnati Reds
University of Minnesota, Business Administration, 1979
Hired as the Director of Minor League Operations and Scouting in 1980. Served as General Manager of the Cardinals from 1994 to 2007. Named General Manager of the Reds in October 2007.
John Mozeliak, St. Louis Cardinals
University of Colorado at Boulder, Psychology, 1993
Transferred from University of Arizona to the University of Boulder as an undergrad. Broke into baseball with the Rockies in 1993 as an intern. Named General Manager of the Cardinals in October 2007.
Frank Wren, Atlanta Braves
St. Petersburg Junior College, 1976
Played in the Expos organization from 1977 to 1987. Joined the front office in Montreal as Assistant Director of Scouting in 1987. Named General Manager of the Braves in October 2007.
Neal Hutington, Pittsburgh Pirates
Amherst College, B.A. in Psychology, 1991 | University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Graduate School
Earned a Master’s Degree in sport management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Huntington worked as the Assistant Director of Player Development for the Expos in 1995. Named General Manager of the Pirates in September 2007.
Ed Wade, Houston Astros
Temple University, B.A. in Journalism, 1977
Played baseball at Temple and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Started his career with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1977 as an intern. Served as General Manager for the Phillies (1998-2005). Named General Manager of the Astros in September 2007.
Andrew Friedman, Tampa Bay Rays
Tulane University, Business Management, 1997
Played baseball for the Green Wave and earned a B.S. in management with a concentration in finance. Served as an analyst with New York City-based investment firm Bear, Stearns & Co., Inc. Appointed Director of Baseball Operations in 2004 and 2005. Named General Manager of the Rays in November 2005.
Mike Rizzo, Washington Nationals
Drafted in the 22nd round (553rd overall) by the Angels in the 1982 MLB draft
Started off as the Director of Scouting for the Diamondbacks in 2000. Named General Manager of the Nationals in July 2006.
Ned Colletti, Los Angeles Dodgers
Northern Illinois University, 1981
Started with the Cubs in 1982, working in both media relations and baseball operations. Named General Manager of the Dodgers in November 2005.
Jon Daniels, Texas Rangers
Cornell University, Economics, 1999
Daniels went into business development for Allied Domecq in 1999 before beginning his baseball career in 2001, when he was hired as an intern for the Rockies. Named General Manager of the Rangers in October of 2005.
Doug Melvin, Milwaukee Brewers
Signed by the Pirates as a minor league undrafted free agent
Pitched in both the Pirates and the Yankees’ farm system. Worked with the Yankees as an assistant scouting director. Named General Manager of the Brewers in September 2002.
Dave Dombrowski, Detroit Tigers
Western Michigan University, 1978
After transferring from Cornell University, Dombrowski graduated from Western Michigan University where he received a degree in business administration. Began his career in 1978 as an administrative assistant in the White Sox minor league organization. Became the Expos’ General Manager in 1988 and in 1991 became General Manager of the Florida Marlins. Named General Manager of the Tigers in April 2002.
Larry Beinfest, Florida Marlins
University of California, Berkeley, 1986 | Syracuse University, Master’s Degree in Public Communications
Played baseball at the well-established Chatsworth High School in Chatsworth, California. Being injured during his junior year of high school, Beinfest accepted a scholarship to the University of Nevada, Reno. He transferred his sophomore season to UC Berkeley, where he didn’t even make the team. His front office career began as a scouting assistant to the minor league operations of the Mariners. Named General Manager of the Marlins in February 2002.
Kenny Williams, Chicago White Sox
Drafted by the White Sox in the 3rd round of the 1982 MLB draft
Played football at Stanford prior to signing with the White Sox. Williams retired as a professional baseball player in 1991 before he re-joined the White Sox as a scout in November of 1992. Named General Manager in October 2000.
Dan O’Dowd, Colorado Rockies
Rollins College in Winter Park, FL., 1980
Graduated from Rollins College where he played baseball and received a business degree. Started his career with the Baltimore Orioles as Account Manager to the Director of Baseball Operations. Named General Manager of the Rockies in September 1999.
Brian Cashman, New York Yankees
The Catholic University of America, 1989
Played baseball at The Catholic University of America where he set the school record for most hits in a season. Started as an intern with the Yankees in 1986 and was named General Manager in February 1998.
Brian Sabean, San Francisco Giants
Eckerd College, 1978
Served as an assistant baseball coach at St. Leo (FL) College in 1979 and as head coach at the University of Tampa in 1983, where he took the school to its first-ever NCAA Regional Tournament appearance in 1984. Served as the director of scouting for the Yankees from 1986-1990 and Vice President of Player Development Scouting from 1990-1992. Named General Manager of the Giants in September of 1996.
And of course …
Billy Beane, Oakland A’s
Drafted by the Mets in the 1st round of the 1980 MLB draft
Turned down a joint baseball-football scholarship Stanford. Hired by then Oakland Athletics GM Sandy Alderson as an advance scout. Named General Manager in October 1997.
*All information was acquired from various 2011 media guides and MLB.com executive bios