SBJ/September 10-16, 2012/People and Pop Culture
Derrick Hall, president and CEO, Arizona Diamondbacks
Published August 13, 2012, Page 38
What I Like …
|Hall (right) talks to Diamondbacks pitcher J.J. Putz at an employee event this year.
■ An influential person in my career: My father, who encouraged me to chase my dreams in Major League Baseball. Our owner, Ken Kendrick, as well, who is an accomplished entrepreneur and has taught me more about business in the last few years than I have learned in a lifetime.
■ A timeless idea: I would like to see MLB bring back the bullpen carts with the oversized baseball caps to bring relief pitchers into games, as long as fans do not interpret the move as pampering.
■ A sports facility: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. I am extremely proud of this facility that is LEED-certified and offers the finest in fan access, breathtaking views, and shade and comfort.
■ A hire: Larry Scott as Pac-12 commissioner. He has done a tremendous job with conference expansion and network negotiations.
■ A brand: I am amazed by the branding success of Geico. That green gecko immediately translates to insurance savings. There are various games on our schedule when he makes an appearance at Chase Field, and as he walks around, all fans point to him and say, “Hey, there’s the Geico gecko.”
■ An idea I wish I had thought of: Cash-less parking meters. And it is one of those inventions I thought of about five to 10 years ago and was certain I would own the patent.
What I Like about …
■ Sports: The extreme passion that fanatics have for their teams and cities. It remains the great escape for our fans from the daily struggles and stresses in life and business. There is no greater image than a sleeping child over the shoulder of a parent on the way out of the ballpark after a victory.
■ Sports media: Having dabbled in the past on that side of the microphone, I have great respect for the media’s knowledge and ability to switch gears and ad lib at the drop of a hat..
What I’d Like To …
|Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
■ See: More owners like Jerry Reinsdorf who care about their employees and sport more than their own personal gain.
■ See more of in sports: Kids in the stands. With so many options and so much entertainment competition, we need to capture and constantly spark their interest.
■ See more of in sports business: A true sharing of ideas between organizations. We are slowly realizing that we only compete on the field.
■ See less of in sports business: Stress and time away from family. When my counterpart at the Rockies and dear friend Keli McGregor passed, I quickly realized this sport consumes us and we often neglect our health and family unknowingly. And he found more time for both than most of us.
■ Eliminate: The DH. I know it serves a purpose and prolongs careers, and for that I am grateful, but I am a National League fan and enjoy seeing the pitcher hit as well as the strategy involved in pitching around others to get to him..
What I Like …
■ Above all else: I want the most polite kids on the planet. Nothing makes me prouder than to hear a server at a restaurant say that our kids have the finest manners they have ever encountered. That happens frequently, so thank goodness for their mother’s direction.
■ About myself: My ability to do impersonations of my co-workers. Makes storytelling a little more interesting.
■ Heroes: My father, Sandy Koufax, Jackie Robinson, Dr. Inderbir Gill (my cancer surgeon).
■ Possession: My two black labs, Ziggy and Rudy. Ziggy is therapeutic for me. He gets me and knows how to calm me down and comfort me. There is nothing like a loyal friend lying on your feet after a long, hard day.
■ Memento: A list I compiled on a hotel note pad of the reasons I was not ready to die after being diagnosed with prostate cancer last September.
■ Author: Randy Pausch, “The Last Lecture.” He and my father both passed from pancreatic cancer, a terrible disease. Bob Nutting, owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, bought me the book after my father was diagnosed.
■ Trips: I took my wife along with me and some of our executives to Japan recently. This was my third trip there, but she had never been.
■ Movies: “The Godfather,” “The Deer Hunter,” “Old School,” “Happy Gilmore.”
■ TV: “The Sopranos,” “Ed,” “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations,” “Man v. Food.”
■ IPad app: Sonos, which allows our family to control different audio outlets throughout our home and yard. … Withings has been great for weight and blood pressure tracking — although it is rather depressing when your big Father’s Day gift from the family is a mobile blood pressure machine that syncs with the Withings app.
■ Food: Vegan comfort food.
■ Drink: Red wine and water. Who needs anything else?
■ Scent: Ferragamo.
■ Singer: Frank Sinatra has always been my favorite, but my iPod is completely eclectic, with Earth, Wind and Fire, the Zac Brown Band, and Andrea Bocelli.
■ Quote: “If you truly love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.”