Professional Baseball Lifer and Gaucho Bill Geivett Opens Up

by F.P. Santangelo, Jr., UCSB Daily Nexus 2/28/17

Like a true Gaucho, Geivett did not let his shortcomings take control of his life. When faced with adversity he did not find excuses but instead found ways to succeed and win.

Gaucho alum Bill Geivett recently released his book, Do You Want to Work in Baseball? Inside Baseball Operations, which details his experiences in professional baseball as a player, scout, farm director and front-office executive. In the publication, Geivett’s advice is not only applicable to those who seek a career in sports management, but to anyone competing in any type of job market today as well.

Geivett played for the Gauchos in 1984 and 1985 and posted monster numbers while in a UCSB uniform. Geivett still holds the school records for career batting average (.402), single season batting average (.412, 1985), hits in a season (100, 1985). He also used to hold records for triples in a season (8, 1985), most runs scored in a season (74, 1985), and most at-bats in a single season (243, 1985).

After previously being drafted four consecutive times by four different organizations, Geivett finally signed with then Anaheim Angels organization in 1985 after being drafted in the 13th round.

Unfortunately for Geivett, his baseball-playing career would come to a sudden conclusion due to a knee injury in 1988, but this career ending injury still would not stop Geivett from being a part of baseball. Soon after, Geivett would coach for Loyola Marymount University in 1989 and Long Beach State University in 1990.

While coaching for college programs added to his already impressive baseball resume, Geivett’s future would still lie in professional baseball with him eventually becoming a scout and instructor in the Yankees organization in 1991.

From 1994 to 1996, Geivett would be hired as the head farm director for the Montreal Expos. The Expos’ farm system was largely known as one of the best farm systems in baseball during this time due to the tremendous talent in the system that housed big names such as Mark Grudzielanek, Orlando Cabrera, Jose Vidro, Cliff Floyd and Vladimir Guerrero.

During his time as a farm director, in his book, Geivett recalls an experience he had with a particular player, F.P. Santangelo.

Jeff Blair from the Montreal Gazette published an article with an inside major league source from the Expos’ organization, stating, “We don’t feel there is anyone in Ottawa [Montreal’s Triple-A affiliate] who can help our team in Montreal.”

This angered many Ottawa Lynx players, but no more so than it angered Santangelo. After a team meeting, most players had cooled down — but not Santangelo. Santangelo would confront Geivett and insist he is ready to be called up to the big leagues, even though Santangelo was hitting a less than impressive .243 at the time.

After a roster spot opened up on the big league squad due to an injury, Geivett would take a risk on Santangelo, sending him to the big leagues after Santangelo waited seven years in the minors. Stating he went above several people’s heads in the organization to do this in his memoir, Geivett’s career was on the line with this decision.

Nervous, Geivett’s worst fear would come true and Santangelo’s name would be penciled in the lineup the first day he arrived in Montreal. Putting all his money on Santangelo, a person who was more confident in his ability than anyone, Geivett would come out on top.

Santangelo would go on to hit a triple that night and would end up staying in the big leagues for seven years. Geivett stated in his book himself, “It was one of my most emotional experiences in professional baseball watching F.P. slide into third base … F.P. Santangelo taught me the power of confidence.”

After his time in Montreal, Geivett would become the assistant general manager of the Devil Rays in 1997 and would move on to join the Dodgers in 1998 under the same position.

While with the Dodgers, Geivett shared another story about college graduates looking for work in professional baseball. At the Baseball Winter Meetings, an event where baseball GMs meet and discuss potential trades, a couple college graduates approached Geivett and Tommy Lasorda with their resumes trying to get hired on the spot for jobs within the organization. Right then and there, both Geivett and Lasorda broke down the flaws in each approach the men had … to their faces.

When asked about this story when speaking as a special guest for a sports management course here at UCSB, Geivett assured the class to do these three specific things that are reinforced and expanded upon in his book: “Have a specialty. Really know what you’re talking about. Make people aware what you want to do.”

In 2000, Geivett would land and stick with the Colorado Rockies organization for 14 years, moving from director of player personnel to director of minor league operations to assistant general manager to the team’s director of major-league operations in 2012. After a long career in baseball, Geivett would later resign from this position in 2014.

Geivett hopes the release of his book will both help and inspire generations of sports managers and people alike, stating, “I’m hopeful that in years to come somebody that reads the book remembers, ‘Hey I remember reading the book and that guy talked about that,’ and the lesson has been passed on.”

UCSB Daily Nexus 2/28/17

“Readers’ Favorite” Review by Mamta Madhavan – 5 Stars

Do You Want to Work in Baseball? by Bill Geivett is an engaging read that gives insights on baseball with details on the preparation and work that goes behind getting an interview call or employment in the competitive world of professional sports. The author’s experience in the sport is credible throughout the book as he answers questions on baseball, on the process of acquiring employment in MLB, how baseball scouts evaluate players, and many other questions that will cross the minds of all baseball enthusiasts. The book also throws light on the process of scouting junior athletes and projecting their abilities, and gives readers a peek into the professional player development and the perspectives involved. The book is about the study of philosophy and practical procedure, how it is developed, reviewed, and analyzed in professional baseball.

This book connects well with all baseball lovers and it is a must-read for all those who are seeking employment in professional baseball. The book should be read by all baseball coaches and players as the perspectives and insights shared are thought-provoking. The author handles the topic extensively and his experience in professional baseball as a player, scout, and front office executive makes this an informative read. His writing style is neat and simple, making it easy for readers from all strata of society to understand baseball and everything associated with it. This book can be kept as a guide to the conceptual thought processes required in designing Baseball Operations programs and procedures. It also has some good techniques and suggestions on how to solve issues in professional baseball and create successful plans.

Participating in Tucson Festival of Books March 11, 2017

I will be in the Adult Non-fiction Author Pavilion at the Tucson Festival of Books on March 11, 2017, 12:15-2:15.

I will have books available for purchase and will be signing them.

Hope to meet and talk to lots of baseball fans!

The Tucson Festival of Books will be held on Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12, 2017 on the beautiful University of Arizona campus in Tucson, Arizona. The Festival enters its ninth year as one of the largest literary events in the country. All proceeds from the Festival are donated to local non-profit organizations that support improved literacy in Southern Arizona. More than $1,400,000 has been donated since the Festival began in 2009

Tucson Festival of Books 2017


“Readers’ Favorite” Review by Kayti Nika Raet – 5 Stars

Bill Geivett’s Do You Want to Work in Baseball? provides an insider’s look
into the world of professional baseball. In it, Geivett details how scouts
evaluate players, the process of starting a career there, and the passion
required for longevity and success. With twenty-eight years of experience,
Bill Geivett is an expert in his field, not through sudden genius – though
his work is insightful – but because of a willingness to listen and learn, a
willingness he proves time and time again is necessary for success.
Do You Want to Work in Baseball is more than a simple how to. As
Geivett draws on his insight as a player, scout, and front office executive,
he offers philosophical as well as practical advice. His advice is also good
for any aspect of one’s life, regardless of whether they succeed in the
world of baseball, urging the reader to focus on long term gains instead
of short term victories.
I enjoyed reading Do You Want to Work in Baseball? by Bill Geivett. It
provides a unique view into a world few get to experience and Geivett’s
words of wisdom also reminded me of my own father who coached Little
League. It seems as though baseball inspires a unique philosophy in all
those who engage in the classic sport. Geivett also includes some colorful
stories as well as tips and advice, and his book reads as though you’re
getting one-on-one insight from a mentor. A great read for anyone who is
tough enough for the world of baseball.

“Readers’ Favorite” Review by Gisela Dixon – 5 Stars

Do You Want to Work in Baseball? by Bill Geivett is a comprehensive non-fiction book on the ins and outs of professional baseball and how to make a life and career in it. Do You Want to Work in Baseball? explores literally everything to do with the field, including what are the various job and career options in the field, detailed information about each one, how to break in, baseball operations, interview skills and tips, scouting, and much more. Bill Geivett brings his background in professional baseball to this book and explores not just everything that is needed to know to break into the industry, but also offers thought-provoking and often times humorous glimpses into the world of some well-known pro baseball players.

Do You Want to Work in Baseball? is an in-depth, comprehensive book on everything one needs to know to succeed in the field of Major League Baseball. In fact, the interview tips and general life lessons in this book are not restricted to pro baseball or indeed any sports field, and can be applied equally well to any field to achieve career success. I really liked the interview section presented in this book, which proves that one not only needs the skills, but also a never-give-up, can-do attitude and a passion for the job. The writing style is very engaging and makes it a fun read, even for a non-baseball fan. All in all, a highly recommended read for anyone wishing to enter the competitive world of Major League Baseball.