Luis Victoria ’17 studied business and sports management and sustainable entrepreneurship, minored in psychology, played baseball, and earned an internship with the Kansas City Royals in the Dominican Republic while he was a student at Northland. He went on to earn his master’s degree in sports management from Concordia University in St. Paul. In January, he accepted a position as coordinator of educational and cultural programs with the Oakland A’s.
Buckles: Congratulations on your new job! Is this a position you ever imagined?
Victoria: Thank you very much. For as long as I can remember, baseball has always been a part of my life. My dream was to become a professional baseball player but throughout my college baseball career, I developed an understanding that my true calling was as a professional in the field of sports management.
Buckles: Tell me about your job.
Victoria: I work under the baseball operations department where I assist in overseeing and developing the cultural and educational program of the Latin American players as they adapt to life in the United States. Some of my duties consist of assisting the players with English classes, housing, travel, paperwork, immigration status, life skills, amongst others. On many occasions, I also serve as a Spanish/English interpreter between the players and the front office staff, on and off the field. This job entails building strong relationships with both the players and the managers, making sure that the players’ cultural and educational development is going hand in hand with their baseball development. While many Latin American players may be ready to become Major League players, sometimes they are not ready to build a life in the United States outside of the baseball field. It is my job to make sure that these players receive and gain the necessary tools and skills in order to successfully adapt to a life in the United States during their time as professional baseball players.
Buckles: In March, you sent everyone home and the minor leagues haven’t started back up again. How has it been working remotely? How are the players doing?
Victoria: Working remotely has been a different environment for many of us. In my case, since I was new to the organization, I was just starting to get acquainted with the culture and structure of the team while also meeting many new co-workers and players. It has been a challenge considering the fact that we were in the middle of spring training when everything was halted and many things about our style of work had to change, but I was able to adapt to the different format in hopes of supporting the organization as best as I could. Without stating the obvious, the players would rather be on a baseball field playing at this time. It was rough at first, but many of them have been able to adjust to a different lifestyle while patiently waiting to be productive again for themselves and for their families. The A’s have done a great job overall at keeping in touch with all of the players and making sure that everyone is doing well. I am certain that everyone, including players, staff members, and myself, are more than excited to go back to work on a “normal” basis.