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Sport Management students meet with Pittsburgh Pirates executives to celebrate diversity

Nine students and one faculty member from the CPASS Sport Management program attended the first annual Curt Roberts Step Up to the Plate event hosted by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The event celebrated diversity and inclusion while also honoring the late Curt Roberts who was the first African-American baseball player drafted by the Pirates.

Frank Coonelly, president of the Pittsburgh Pirates, welcomed the CPASS delegation and emphasized the importance of diversity in the workplace. After the president’s keynote, students participated in a panel with nine members of the Pirates front office. Speakers offered career advice and spoke about diversity. The panel consisted of individuals from a variety of departments including marketing, community relations, sales, IT, analytics and baseball operations.  

Each panelist explained their journey to one of the most storied MLB franchises. Panelists offered guidance on how to add value to an organization as well as the need to be humble and willing to do the little things for an organization to be successful.

Panelists emphasized teamwork and described how departments have to work together. “Most people only think about what happens on the field, not all of the work done off of it, to make the on-field experience possible. It truly takes a combined team effort from all parts of an organization to make the dream a reality,” said Evan Banasick, senior sport management student.

Following the panel discussion, students participated in the networking portion of the event. Students met the panel and other front office staff and inquired about specific departments. “I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet the panelists and ask them questions. Hearing their career paths was extremely insightful and helped me to know how you can make it into a professional sports team front office,” sophomore Sam DeMuzio noted.

This event provided a chance for students to begin preparing for a career in the sports industry. “The Curt Roberts Step Up to the Plate event was a great opportunity for us to get a behind the scenes look of one the most prestigious baseball organization in the country,” said Banasick. The students agreed that visiting with the Pittsburgh Pirates will have a positive effect as they plan for their careers.

Story prepared by Kirsten Wehmeier, CPASS Sport Management student

Students who attended the Curt Roberts Step Up to the Plate include James Ruggiero, Andrew Reynolds, Al Costanzo, Lyndsey Core, Sam DeMuzio, Samuel Hait, Evan Banasick, Kirsten Wehmeier, and Holden Moore

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