On a chilly January evening, over 100 Cardinals joined the Catholic University Office of Alumni Engagement to learn about two of their favorite things: baseball and business.

Alumni from across generations mingled and enjoyed appetizers at the beautiful PNC Diamond Club in Nationals Park. There was excitement in the air as these fans waited to hear from Mike Rizzo, President of Baseball Operations and General Manager of the Washington Nationals.

Mike Rizzo talks to a group of CatholicU alumni at Nationals Park

After attendees caught up with classmates, the program began. Dan Kolko, Nationals Broadcaster, moderated the question and answer session with Rizzo. He asked questions such as: “What are some of the toughest choices you have had to make as a general manager?” and “A lot goes on through the course of a baseball season and in the off-season, and not all of it is related to what’s happening on the field. How do you stay focused on the task at hand and not allow the outside distractions interfere with your work?”

Rizzo spoke with a confidence that only comes from decades of experience. He pulled back the curtain and gave great insight on what it takes to manage a World Series-winning organization like the Nationals. He explained how important it is to take care of the team, physically and mentally. As a leader, it’s his job to create a culture of trust, support, and success. If there’s something that throws the dynamic off – from performance to behavior – he might have to make a hard decision.

Mike Rizzo talks to a group of CatholicU alumni at Nationals Park

When asked what the best business advice he ever received was, he said it was to be honest. Rizzo has tough conversations face-to-face. He looks people in the eyes and tells them the truth, whether it’s good or bad. It’s evident that this respect for others has played a major role in bringing him so far in his career.

It’s safe to say that The Business of Baseball with Mike Rizzo event was a home run! Our fun with the Washington Nationals isn’t over, though. Join us this summer for CatholicU alumni baseball games! All of the information will be posted on our events page in spring 2024. We hope to see you soon!

Published on: Monday, February 5, 2024

Tags: Alumni Association, Baseball