Baseball legend to visit campus

The Daily News

Baseball fans, business enthusiasts and future leaders alike will have the chance to learn from a sports legend known for being one of the most progressive baseball executives of all time.

A Conversation with “Moneyball’s” Billy Beane will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the John R. Emens Auditorium as part of the Excellence in Leadership program. The conversation will cover his career and work transforming the management of the Oakland Athletics. The event is free and open to the public. 

Beane, the subject of the 2011 film “Moneyball” starring Brad Pitt, is the general manager of the Oakland Athletics and was recently recognized as the 2012 Baseball Executive of the Year. 

Mitch Isaacs, associate director of Student Life and  the Excellence in Leadership program organizer, said Beane’s visit has been highly anticipated. 

“The heart of his story is risk,” Isaacs said. “He put his reputation on the line and put himself out there and said, ‘Let’s try this,’ even though his peers, the people working for him, weren’t so sure. Billy took a risk and it paid off. That’s a great message for everybody. Nothing risked, nothing gained.”

The conversation will be led by Mark Montieth, host of “One on One” on 1070 The Fan.

Montieth said the conversation will encompass the making of “Moneyball,” Beane’s career and his leadership strategies. 

“I hope [students] will see an example of how things can be done differently than conventional wisdom dictates and sometimes you have to have the courage and conviction and be creative not to do things the way they’ve always been done,” Montieth said. 

Students will have the opportunity to ask questions during the event. Ten students from Excellence in Leadership will also have the chance to meet with Beane in a small group before his speaking engagement. 

One of those students, freshman pre-med major Ethan Balog, watched “Moneyball” after he found out he would meet Beane. After learning more about his story, he said he is looking forward to the chance to ask him questions. 

“I want to ask him about how he feels about how he has changed baseball,” Balog said. “Before you worked for good players and you bought players instead of wins, and he made it into a completely different system. I find it fascinating so just to meet him and ask him about creating that. That’s going to be awesome.”

Self-professed huge baseball fan junior accounting major Tara Cahill hopes to work in baseball someday and is looking forward to speaking with Beane. 

Isaacs said when he told Cahill last semester that Beane would be coming to campus, her eyes lit up. 

“When I chose Ball State, I never thought I would get the opportunity to talk to, or even see someone like Billy Beane,” Cahill said. “The fact that I get to meet him, and the opportunity just came about so quickly — it’s exactly like Billy Beane’s story — something unexpected but it’s going to be a great experience no matter what.”


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