How to Become a Baseball Manager

If you’re passionate about baseball, you may want to make it your career. That doesn’t mean you have to aspire to be a pro athlete, though. There are many roles in this sport that may appeal to an ambitious job-seeker. For example, perhaps you want to know how to become a baseball manager – a role that would allow you to contribute tremendously to the overall success of a team.

What Does A Baseball Manager Do?

Before learning how to become a baseball manager, you should be familiar with the primary duties and tasks associated with this career.

Although the specific responsibilities of a baseball general manager can vary somewhat from one team to another, in general, the manager is responsible for not only hiring coaches and players but for hiring such other personnel as analytics professionals, public relations specialists, and others.

A baseball manager can significantly influence whether a team succeeds or fails. A manager must have a strategic mindset, making hiring choices based on a thorough understanding of a candidate’s potential. They need to have an eye for talent while also understanding how to make the right hiring choices without spending more than a team’s budget allows for.

How Much Does A Baseball Manager Make?

You need to account for such practical factors as salary when deciding whether you genuinely want to be a baseball manager. 

General baseball manager salaries can vary widely because not all baseball managers work for the MLB. Managers in minor leagues can make fairly modest livings, while some of the top paid MLB managers are paid millions of dollars every year. According to one breakdown, the base pay average for a baseball manager is about $80,103. Being a manager in baseball can be a relatively lucrative career if you’re a hard worker.

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The Importance of Playing The Game

As is the case with many baseball jobs, although you don’t necessarily need to have played baseball at a high level to become a baseball manager, it certainly helps.

If you’re a young person reading this, and you still have opportunities to play baseball at the high school, university, and minor league levels, attempt to do so if possible. 

Having a background as a baseball player if you want to become a baseball manager is important for many reasons. Some are fairly obvious. To be a successful baseball manager, you must have a thorough understanding of the game. If potential employers see that you have years of experience playing baseball at a relatively high level, they’ll immediately recognize that you possess that understanding.

Playing baseball can also provide you with networking opportunities if you’re talented enough to at least reach the minor leagues. Like any line of work, baseball jobs are simply easier to get if you know the right people.

Education

It’s important to note that many successful baseball managers don’t have relevant degrees. It’s by no means impossible to become a baseball manager simply because you don’t have the “right” educational background.

Many of the managers who succeed despite not having degrees often do so because they started as players before they became managers. Once their careers on the field began to wind down, they started the process of transitioning to a new role.

That may not be an option for you. If you are in a position to get a degree, you should prioritize seeking one that will indicate to employers you have the skills necessary to manage a team. Subjects worth focusing on include sports management and business.

If you’re in college, you should also try to get a job or internship with your school’s athletics department. Of course, if possible, you want to work as closely with the baseball team as you can to take advantage of networking opportunities.

Work Experience

Many experts recommend applying for relevant internships with baseball teams and leagues if you want to be a baseball manager. They agree that, even if an internship is unpaid, the experience may be worthwhile in the long run, as it will provide you with connections and practical skills.

Generally, though, you should naturally seek out job opportunities with baseball leagues. That’s not to say you can never become a baseball manager if said opportunities are unavailable right now. Aside from understanding the sport, a baseball manager must be someone who can coordinate with others and guide a team towards a common goal.

Regardless of what industry you work in before finally working in baseball, you need to look for jobs that give you the chance to be a manager. For instance, even if you started working at an engineering firm, if your eventual goal is to become a baseball manager, you could potentially make the right impression during future job interviews by pointing out that you have experience managing numerous employees.

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Be Patient

Many baseball managers, even those who started as players, don’t necessarily become managers right away when they begin working for a team in an off-the-field capacity. For example, Billy Beane, now vice president of the Oakland Athletics, was a pro baseball player but had to start as a scout before becoming a manager.

You can’t expect to jump right into a general manager position when you land your first baseball job. You’ll probably need to work your way up the ladder. 

This shouldn’t discourage you from striving to become a baseball manager. On the contrary, working for a team in lower-level positions for a few years will help you learn even more about the work a manager does, ensuring you’re thoroughly prepared for the role once you’re genuinely eligible for it.

Stay On Course

Just remember that there is no single path to becoming a baseball manager. This guide merely covered the essential steps you can take to improve your chances of getting this job. The main point to keep in mind is that, to become a baseball manager, you need to show employers that love the sport, are willing to put in the work, and have a desire to never stop learning about baseball.