Plenty of people are interested in the world of sports, but it’s not every day that you get to hang out with a professional athlete and hear the inside scoop about the game from their perspective. Yet, that’s exactly what happened at a recent meeting of Yeshivat Frisch’s Sports Management Club. On February 18, students had the amazing opportunity to hear from former New York Mets pitcher and sports analyst Nelson Figueroa, who gave his life story as well as a long, insightful Q&A.
Figueroa spoke about his career, and how despite injuries he persevered and attained his goals. He emphasized the importance of hard work and not giving up when things don’t go your way. The Q&A covered several different areas, including hot topics in sports (from cheating and steroid scandals, to proposed rule changes by the league), baseball knowledge and analytics (like what makes some pitchers better than others and how to address different athletes’ specific challenges), as well as the ways to get involved in sports even if you’re not an athlete. Figueroa also spoke about how he began volunteering for Chai Lifeline and Camp Simcha.
Frisch’s Sports Management Club was founded this year by sophomore Jack Greenfield, with the support of the Frisch administration. “The club is geared towards students who love sports and are interested in learning about the business side of sports, since they are unlikely to be playing professionally,” said Greenfield. “I have reached out to people in many different sports-related jobs, and the response has been really positive.” This year, the club has presentations from around 10 speakers who all work in the sports industry.
“It was very exciting to meet a former professional baseball player, and to hear about his current role as an analyst/commentator,” said Greenfield about Figueroa’s visit. “Along with his presentation, he was able to answer any current baseball-related questions from the students, giving opinions from both a player’s point of view and an analyst’s. He also gave some advice to those who want to get in the business through the MLB and minor league baseball organizations. The advice that is offered by these presenters is very valuable as we start thinking about our college years and beyond.”