Each year, I’ve written about the Baseball Winter Meetings, what they are and aren’t about, and with it, provided a sidebar to a career conference that takes place during them (read Inside the 2011 Baseball Winter Meetings in Dallas). This year, the meetings are in Nashville,TN from December 3-6 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. Instead of getting into the ins and outs of the Meetings, this year I want to focus on an aspect that is going on at the meetings, but isn’t a part of them.
As part of work that I do for Sports Management Worldwide, I’ve been privileged to help with lining up speakers for their Baseball Career Conference. Over the past few years, the likes of Dodgers GM Ned Colletti, Stan Kasten (now part owner, CEO and President of the Dodgers), and John Mozeliak, the Vice President and General Manager of the St. Louis Cardinals have been keynote speakers. The conference, which runs this year on Dec. 2-3, has also featured Jayson Stark and Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, Rob Neyer with SBNation, Cory Schwartz with MLB Advanced Media, Harold Reynolds of MLB Network, Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports and Baseball America, Craig Calcaterra of NBCSports.com, and yes, yours truly from Baseball Prospectus, Forbes, and here at The Biz of Baseball along with a host of others. While I’m somewhat biased, it’s becoming clear that the conference is becoming of the go-to places for the Winter Meetings each year.
This year will be no different. Adding to the top-notch keynote speakers prior, this year SMWW has lined up Hall of Famer and former Phillies, Blue Jays, Orioles, and Mariners GM, Pat Gillick to this year’s conference.
What’s interesting is that something that started with mostly students looking to break into the world of sports attending has grown into an interest by those in the industry. Schwartz was one of those a while back, members of Baseball Prospectus will be there, as do others, such as consultant and former Manager of Statistical Analysis for the Cubs, Ari Kaplan. Last year, Kaplan paid to attend, and is doing so again this year citing the variety of conference.
"The SMWW event is the best learning experience of the year for understanding how the entire baseball market works,” said Kaplan, who has worked with Fred Claire, Andy MacPhail, Jim Hendry, Tal Smith, Tim Purpura, Phil Garner, Kevin Kennedy, Frank Robinson, Roland Hemond, Joe McIlvaine, Jim Beattie, Bill Stoneman, David Littlefield, Dan Duquette, Kevin Malone, and others. “I enjoy hearing from a broad spectrum of presenters including executives, Front Office workers, scouts, players, agents, marketing, media. I've worked in MLB for 20 years and find this event fresh and unique."
So, if you’re planning on attending the Baseball Winter Meetings, and are there on Monday, you might want to check it out. I will be there, once again, to speak and listen. Every year I attend, I seem to learn a whole lot more.
SEE DETAILS AND SIGN UP FOR THE BASEBALL CAREER CONFERENCE IN NASHVILLE
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).
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