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Volume 20 No. 42
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Derrick Hall, president and CEO, Arizona Diamondbacks


What I Like …

Hall (right) talks to Diamondbacks pitcher J.J. Putz at an employee event this year.
An insight: The employee should always come first. If we respect, recognize, reward and promote our staff members, they will in turn treat our customers and fans the way we expect them to be treated.
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.

President and CEO,
Arizona Diamondbacks

Where I'm from: I am originally from Los Angeles and moved all over the country as a kid. Now reside in Paradise Valley, Ariz., with my wife, Amy, and our three kids, Logan (16), Hayden (14) and Kylie (11).

Where I Went to School: Arizona State University, bachelor of arts in journalism and telecommunications. Master’s in sports administration from Ohio University.

My First Job: Intern for the Los Angeles Dodgers and their spring training operations in Vero Beach, Fla., as well as for the Vero Beach Dodgers of the Florida State League. I did everything from pulling the tarp in rainstorms to stocking the concessions shelves.

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
Change: I would like to make infield practice mandatory before each game so that the fans can watch.

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 …

Sandy Koufax
That would surprise those who know me: When we win games, I rush home to watch the postgame coverage as well as all highlights. When we lose, I take my time getting home and immediately turn on the Food Network. A few years ago, we lost 97 games, but I became an amazing cook. Believe me, I would much rather win 97 games and burn water.
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).
Kurt Rambis
Players: Fernando Valenzuela, Kurt Rambis, Kirk Gibson, Roger Federer, Pelé, Billie Jean King.
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.
Ballpark food: Cracker Jack and all of our healthy items, such as a veggie cup, the Sloppy Jane and vegan quesadillas.
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.”