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Brian Cashman is a Good Man.

Car-and-Cash1-265x300This Struming has no ending… yet. But it has a great beginning, is a story worth telling, and will hopefully have a happy ending soon.

The story involves our daughter, Carolyn, a recent Rowan University graduate, who is in a job search for a sports marketing position in New York (who says parents have no influence on their children?). Carolyn has actually begun working events as part of the promotions team of WFAN, where she had previously interned. It’s a great first step. She loves WFAN. It’s a great station. And she’s also trying to land a full time job in New York in sports marketing, not an easy goal, but one she’s determined to achieve.

From the photo in this post, you can see Carolyn once met Yankees GM, Brian Cashman. This was at a WFAN event in January, and she had written about it in an earlier in January post in her blog, Ladies Loves Sports 2, called The Day I Met the Guy Who Runs the Yanks. While the very brief encounter was meaningful to her, and Brian Cashman was gracious enough to take photos with many who attended, he certainly would not remember individuals who he met that day.

Fast forward to the Spring, and as part of Carolyn’s job search she wrote to Brian Cashman, reminded him of their brief meeting and expressed her passion for sports marketing in general, the Yankees specifically, and her interest in an entry level marketing position at the Yankees. Obviously she knew he wasn’t the right person to write to. She hardly expected a response—at most she had hoped for was that her resume might land on someone else’s desk, and that was probably a BIG stretch.  

Here’s where the story gets interesting….

On Thursday April 14 Carolyn and I attended a Yankee game vs. the Orioles (one of the 14 games we have tickets for this year). This would be Phil Hughes’ last start of the season to date. Hughes pitched poorly that evening, and went on the DL immediately thereafter. Though Hughes left with the Yankees behind, they rallied for a 6-5 win. Good comeback—Good win. But the highlight of the evening came an hour before the game.  

We travel more than 100 miles from Southern New Jersey to go to Yankees games, so we always arrive at games at least 90 minutes early to avoid traffic. We had actually gotten to the Stadium a little after 5pm that day and did our traditional pre-game routine, sushi first (by the way incredible sushi at the Stadium….really), then a hot dog, etc,

Then at 6:07 pm, while walking through the Stadium, Carolyn’s phone vibrated and went into voice mail. It was a call from the 718 area code. She retrieved the message. Who would be calling her from 718, she thought?

It was Brian Cashman!

Hello Carolyn, this is Brian Cashman. I got your letter and enjoyed reading it and am forwarding it to Jeanette, our new head of HR who just joined us. Who knows, maybe we’ll be working together some day?

Her heart was racing. Call him back right now, I said. You have his number—he just left it 30 seconds ago. She did & he picked right up.

She said ironically she was in the Stadium at that moment, then they spoke for more than 5 minutes, he reiterated his comments about connecting with HR, then they chatted about the game, how they hoped Hughes would pitch well, etc.

The Yankees GM was talking Yankees baseball with my daughter and graciously said he hoped they might work together someday!

By the way there’s no fan more knowledgeable than she is about the Yankees, their history, and about baseball in general. She’s also very skilled in social media and its application to marketing.  She was so excited that the Yankees GM had called her. I was standing right next to her as she spoke to him. If a thunderbolt had struck me at that moment, I would have died with the biggest smile on my face.

Obviously she followed up with Jeanette Martin, the new Yankees HR Director as he suggested, and met with her several days later. Carolyn told me it was good introductory meeting, but alas with no specific action—nothing right now, check the web site, stay in touch, etc. Ugh. Reality of the difficulty of a job search hit. This is the tough part. Carolyn obviously wants to work for the Yankees in a meaningful entry level capacity. She wants to be proactive, appropriately aggressive, but not too pushy. So she checks the Yankees web site daily, applies for positions when even marginally appropriate, and follows up. Nothing yet. She has hope and she is determined to persevere.

But as I reflect on the Yankees GM reaching out to Carolyn, I am left with an incredible appreciation and respect for Brian Cashman, the man, not just an excellent GM with an incredibly tough job. (By the way never assume having a big checkbook makes his job “easy”—I suspect it makes it harder). Brian Cashman reached out to a soon to be college graduate, inspired her, and gave her some hope of reaching her goal. He clearly remembers his past as an aspiring Yankees intern in the 80s. I have always liked and respected him as a GM, but now I have a far deeper respect for him as a man.

At an earlier time in life, I too had hoped to work for the Yankees. When I graduated from NYU with an MBA in the 70s, they were on the top of my list of possible employers. I wrote & called. I got bubkas. No one in the front office called me and talked Yankees baseball. I had no interviews or even rejection letters, though I did have the pleasure of getting kicked out of George Steinbrenner’s office several years later when I worked at BBDO, The Day “The Boss” Kicked Me Out of His Office

The Yankees GM, called my daughter, spoke to her as a peer and inspired her. If the Yankees are wise enough to hire her at some point (sooner than later, I hope for her), they will have an incredible young talent, a committed professional and one who will remember forever the outreach of an industry leader.  My hope is that she will have the opportunity to pay it forward when she reaches that level in her professional career.

In the meantime, Carolyn’s NY sports marketing job search continues and her passion for the Yankees remains (despite the rough series last week against the Red Sox). She keeps writing, phoning, meeting and trying to land a job. Perhaps Cashman may yet get his “wish” to work with Carolyn some day. I’m pulling for you, Brian.




More Strumings

17 Comments

  1. Ed Callahan says:

    Great story Lonny. I am born “Yankee” fan and a transplanted “Phillies” fan. I grew up in the Bronx and was about 5 elevated subway stops from Yankee Stadium Yes, there is tension in my family. That said, I think your comments about Brian Cashman are spot on. What a wonderful thing for him to do! I’m rooting for Carolyn and Cashman. Not the Yankees so much :)

    • Lonny Strum says:

      I know I always liked you Ed and appreciate the feedback …….all the way up to the end “Not the Yankees so much” —appreciate the comments nonetheless.

  2. Lisa says:

    Very heartwarming!

  3. Vaughn Shinkus says:

    A very sweet post, Lonny. Not a Yanks fan myself, but definitely have respect for them as a first-class organization. Your daughter’s experience provides some insight as to why that is true — it all starts at the top. If Carolyn is as smart, driven and passionate as you say, they’d be crazy not to bring her on in some capacity. Wonder if administrative volunteer work or an internship would be an option as a foot in the door?

  4. Barry Bertiger says:

    Very cool story! Too bad he didn’t invite you up to his box to watch the game!
    Can’t mark chernoff put in a good word for your daughter? Go YANKS!

  5. DaveGold says:

    A nice story. Good luck to Carolyn.

    Reminds me of a trip to Fenway in April 2010. My family and I were walking toward our seats when my daughter and niece ran ahead. When I caught up I saw they were both talking to, and if fact were being handed something by, a man I did not know. My parental instincts took over and I rushed to the scene where I found none other than Larry Lucchino, Red Sox CEO, handing out commemorative coins to kids passing by…right there in “everyman’s” seating section. Didn’t have to. Just wanted to he told me. Nice. Brian is indeed a stand-up guy.

    Written on June 21st: Sox up by a game-and-a-half. Just sayin’

    • Lonny Strum says:

      Dave–

      What Carolyn didn’t mention in her blog was the story Cashman told of standing in line at Fenway to buy a Wally doll for his kids who wanted one. He really is a decent guy. And yes, not much “creaming” going on by Yankees vs. Sox yet. But it will….Said another way ox are playing unbelievably well and still can’t shake Yankees. When Sox come back to earth it could be different. But I suspect both will be playing in October this year. Go Yankees.

  6. Paul Farrell says:

    Make sure she gets a great job up there; will will need her to hire Ryan in 5 years! Great story She is a great young lady and will do well. Change this to a Phillies story and you have a home run.

    • Lonny Strum says:

      Change to a Phillies story…and it’s not as good a story. At least to Carolyn. No interest by her in hearing from Reuben Amaro, Jr. (though I do remember his dad on the Yankees in the dark era in the 60s). Go Yankees. BTW, Paul when are we getting together?

  7. Paul Decker says:

    Lonnie…This is the first “Strumings” I’ve received and, of course, I knew, as I navigated it, that you’d find ways to insert the Yankees into it as sure as I know my own name.

    I really enjoyed this piece about Carolyn and Brian Cashman and know that her communication with him on so personal level is clearly the stuff of which dreams are made and will be an enduring, treasured memory…and a damn fine one, at that.

    I’ve been up to “the Cathedral” about five times since its opening. As a kid who grew up in Queens and whose family couldn’t afford the luxury of baseball games, even when they were relatively inexpensive, being there leaves me in wondermant on every occasion.

    It also has left me broke. Here’s a good “big shot” story:

    The guy I go with is a Fordham alum buddy…a retired four-star general who hosts me in seats that come to him as “boards of directors” perks every so often. During the last game we attended with our ladies, last year, he announced he’d gotten us entre to the Audi Club, about which I knew nothing. Since he’d taken us to several games…and limousined us from his hotel and back each time…I made absolutely certain I grabbed the Audi Club tab at meal’s end. I mean, how much could four buffets and a few martinis cost? A lot. Close to four Benjamins, as it turns out. But, what the hell. We ate and drank well and watched the Bombers take a good one. Life was…and still is…good.

    Now, this year, I fear, we may see a repeat October meeting of the Yankees and the The Fightin’s (”love the one you’re with” is my justification). Last time that happened I needed conflict counseling.

    Hope all is well in your world. Are you still affiliated with Mayo-Seitz?
    Paul Decker

    • Lonny Strum says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Paul. My love for the Yankees is unending, as is my daughter’s. No conflict for me when the Yankees play the Phillies. Aside from some interleague play, there were only 2 real Yankees-Phillies Series, 1951 and 2009. I’d be thrilled to go for the hat trick this year. Yes, I continue to do work for my good friends at MayoSeitz Media. They’ve been a long time client. Great people who are very skilled at what they do, despite the fact that they are diehard Phillies fans. Hope all is well with you.

  8. Sue Redmond says:

    Great story Lonny …… although I am NOT a Yankees fan! A huge Phillies fan through and through! These are the stories that I am thrilled to hear still exist. It reminds me of the good ole days. Having worked in sports marketing, specifically with the Phillies for over 25 years, I have found that the industry has changed tremendously. There was a time when the organizations were run more personally – almost family like. You knew everybody and everyone knew you – there was no HR department. Unfortunately with all businesses these days, they were forced to go corporate and lose that personal touch and now it’s the bottom line that’s the focus. It’s great to hear that there are still people around like Cashman that seem to operate from the old school of business. I wish your daughter the best of luck … her persistence will pay off! It’s only a matter of time. Thanks for sharing her story!

  9. Lonny Strum says:

    Thanks for the feedback, Sue. I hope the stroy has the happy ending. Hope all is well with you.

  10. Steve Brookstein says:

    Indeed a small world. So for the past 8 years I was COO for a cable company based in New York, called Bresnan Communications. The founder/CEO was Bill Bresnan, one of the true cable pioneers. Unfortunately Bill passed away in late 2009 and last year we sold our comapny to Cablevision. So where’s the small world part? Bill’s daughter is married to Brian. He frequently visited our offices ( mostly off-season) and was a regular at our annual holiday parties. The most affable, down to earth and genuine good guy. It doesn’t surprise me at all that he would reach out Carolyn. Like others have said, I’m sure her persistence will pay off. Thanks for sharing.

    • Lonny Strum says:

      Thanks for the background. Clearly Brian Cashman is a real mensch as well as a brilliant GM. And I will give you a heads up in my next trip to NYC. Would enjoy connecting and want to learn more about blip.tv

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