T H E E VA N G E L I S T
June 16, 2011
PARISH LIFE SCHENECTADY YOUTH BAND TOGETHER FOR MASS AND COMMUNITY SERVICE
East Greenbush native trades baseball uniform for business suit BY JAMES BREIG
Christopher Rosenbaum, who was tagged out of minor-league baseball a year ago, has slid safely into a new job with the Boston Red Sox. Mr. Rosenbaum grew up in Holy Spirit parish in East Greenbush, where his mother, Kathleen, is a parish associate. He left in 2002 to attend the University of Rochester, pursue a degree in finance and follow his dream of playing baseball in the major leagues. After transferring to the University of Tampa, he helped lead its team to two NCAA baseball championships. Team captain in 2007, he was First Team Academic All-American and Second Team All-Conference. His mother said that, when he went away to college in Rochester, his faith didn’t immediately go with him.
“But he felt he was missing something,” she said, “and started to attend weekend liturgies.
When he went to Tampa, one of the first things he did was to seek out a parish to join.” Mr. Rosenbaum’s faith showed up in college: He led a drive for a children’s home that raised $4,100, a collection of $3,000 for Make-A-Wish and a campaign for DWI prevention. After he graduated, Mr. Rosenbaum became a catcher in the minor leagues of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim organization. He played with the Salt Lake Bees, the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, the Cedar Rapid Kernels and the Orem Owlz. “It’s good to have faith to fall back on,” he told The Evangelist.
and on borrowed time. I saw people who were better than me. I had made the most of my opportunities and went as far as I could.” Mr. Rosenbaum had no work experience; but he had an MBA, contacts within baseball and what he termed “a unique skill set: degrees in finance and experience on the field. “I bothered people with cold calls and spoke seriously to five teams,” he said — and, on the day after accepting an internship with the Boston Red Sox, he got a call from the New York Yankees, who were also interested in him.
said Mrs. Rosenbaum, “but they’ve taken part in activities at Jeff ’s synagogue and at Holy Spirit, and we celebrated the mixture of traditions by observing each other’s holidays.” Chris Rosenbaum said, “It was interesting to celebrate both faiths when I was growing up. I didn’t notice how big a deal it was to outsiders.” But, while playing in the minors, “one man asked me to sign my baseball card because he collected autographs of Jewish players. I explained that I was a Catholic with a Jewish last name.”
In the dugout
Similar team rivalries are familiar for the Rosenbaums: Mr. Rosenbaum and his father, Jeffrey, root for the Mets, but his mother and siblings Daniel and Jacqueline are fans of the Yankees. There’s also another mixture in the Rosenbaum clan: his parents’ interfaith marriage. The children were raised Catholic,
Today, Mr. Rosenbaum, who is based in Tampa, is doing a little bit of everything. He has driven a player to the airport at 4 a.m. when the player was called up to the majors; he processes video clips of minor leaguers; he even caught for a pitcher rehabbing his arm. “The Red Sox track 400 minor-league players,” Mr. Rosenbaum explained, “and 100
Mr. Rosenbaum also pursued two other interests: earning a Master’s degree in business and writing a blog, “Looking Through the Mask,” about his experiences in the minors. Then, in May 2010, his baseball career ended. “I saw it coming,” he admitted. “I was one of the older players
CHRIS ROSENBAUM of them are in Florida. I compile scouting reports about them.” His hope is that his activities will add up to a full-time job with the team, once his internship ends. “I am making myself indispensable,” he said. “My ultimate goal is the front office and making decisions about a big-league club.” His mother, the Yankees booster, was asked what she would do if her son became a bigwig with the hated Bostonians. When she replied, she emphasized two key words: “I’m happy to root for the front office of the Red Sox.”