Oakland's "A"-List

Confucius once said, "Find a job you enjoy, and you'll never work a day in your life."

Paul DePodesta '95 might disagree.

"I love where I am right now," he says. "But it's pretty hard work."


DePodesta is the assistant general manager of the Oakland Athletics and one of several recent Harvard graduates who have found front-office careers in Major League Baseball. His new Baseball Operations Assistant David Forst graduated from Harvard in 1998 after a storied Crimson career at shortstop. Along with Michael Hill '94, director of player personnel with the Colorado Rockies, DePodesta and Forst have established themselves in an industry that is very difficult to break into, especially at a young age.

"I'm really excited," beams Harvard Coach Joe Walsh, who coached Forst and Hill at different points in his successful five-year stint with the Crimson. "I've got close friends in professional baseball who have worn the Harvard uniform. It's a great tribute, both to the program and the school."

The Oakland duo warrants particular note because of the organization they work for. Out west, the two are involved in the ongoing construction of a project that rarely succeeds in sports: a small-market team that should contend for years to come.

Going DeP'

Even though DePodesta considers himself "easily the junior member" of the A's organization, make no mistake: his post is one of both great influence and mammoth responsibility. The duties of an assistant GM vary by organization, but DePodesta's job description overlaps with General Manager Billy Beane's in many areas. The 27-year-old plays a prominent role in the execution of trades, free-agent signings, and the negotiations behind both.

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