USA Today released its list of the Top 100 Most Powerful People in Major League Baseball.
There are many powerful men at the top with just a few of them actually have played the game.
Besides owners, CEOs, COOs, directors, and commissioners, only three seem to have actually played the game professionally.
Number 11 is Bryce Harper
He’s supposedly second to Kris Bryant in fan recognition and likability among active major leaguers, but Harper’s relevance can’t be denied. He cast himself as the unofficial torch bearer for the expressive, occasionally brash young ballplayer with his “Make Baseball Fun Again” exhortation. The rare athlete who lived up to and perhaps exceeded the significant hype preceding him, Harper was an MVP by 22, and now boasts endorsements for almost every significant MLB corporate partner: Gatorade, T-Mobile and Under Armour, to name a few. After the 2018 season, it’s almost certain he will set a new standard for biggest contract. D.C.? New York? L.A.? Soon, it will be Harper making that call.
Number 22 is Derek Jeter
Long the face of baseball and a future first-ballot Hall of Famer, the telegenic former Yankee shortstop still carries a lot of weight in the sport. His online media outlet, The Players’ Tribune, offers baseball's biggest stars a direct means of communication with fans that extends far beyond social-media character limits. And Jeter, who earned $265 million in salary across his career plus millions more in endorsements, may soon make his long-held dreams of ownership come true, as he’s reportedly part of an ownership group vying to purchase the Miami Marlins.
But one of our own lands at 29, Billy Bean.
Still one of only two former MLB players to publicly come out as gay, Bean now serves as the league’s Ambassador for Inclusion. In that role, Bean tours clubhouses every year to engage with players in the hopes of fostering environments more accepting than those he confronted during his playing days in the late 1980s. Bean’s visits have come with some controversy – most notably when then-Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy said he “disagree(s) with the (gay) lifestyle” during spring training in 2015 – but Bean persists in shepherding the league into the 21st century. The results are already evident, as the club has outlawed cross-dressing as a rookie hazing ritual.
Thank you Billy for representing us not only in the baseball world, but in society. You've come a long way in three years and to break the top 30 most powerful people in baseball, all we can say is keep going up!
For the complete list of 100, head over to usatoday.com.