As the assistant general manager of baseball operations for the Washington Nationals, Mike DeBartolo ’13 has his dream job.
Growing up in the Boston area, DeBartolo was a die-hard Red Sox fan and all-around baseball fanatic. “Ever since elementary school I’ve wanted to work in a baseball front office,” he says. As an undergraduate at Tufts, he majored in economics and joined a baseball analytics student group.
DeBartolo applied to teams right out of college but had no luck. “At that time, there weren’t many people working in baseball who didn’t have a playing background,” he says. He took a job at investment-consulting firm Cambridge Associates. After almost five years at the firm, he applied to the Business School, assuming that a baseball career was not in the cards. At Columbia, though, he realized that his passion for baseball was undeniable. He even did an independent study in his Applied Regression Analysis class analyzing MLB’s rules for spending in the amateur draft.
An introduction through a cluster mate brought DeBartolo to baseball’s Winter Meetings—where job seekers can meet team officials—and he landed an internship with the Nationals. DeBartolo has worked his way up as the team has carved out a spot at the top of the National League East. DeBartolo is now one of five assistant GMs, and he covers a slew of activities, from building the team’s roster and orchestrating trades to managing team operations.
Here, in his own words, is a day in the life of an assistant general manager during the baseball season.