“Find your talent and passion,” advised Dr. Charles Steinberg, the Senior Advisor to the President/CEO of the Boston Red Sox, as he spoke to a group of more than 100 Nichols College students and staff on Sunday, November 4. “That is what is going to get you out of bed in the morning. The intersection of the two--that’s your genius,” he told the audience.
Students were captivated by Steinberg’s story about his first experience as a high school summer intern with the Baltimore Orioles. Like his father, he had planned to pursue a career in dentistry. Ultimately that high school experience turned into what he jokingly called a “thirty-seven year internship in baseball.”
Steinberg added that mentors had made a big difference in his varied and extensive career in baseball. “If longtime baseball officials had not taken an interest in me when I was in college, I’d still be practicing dentistry in Baltimore,” he said. “That would have been fine, but I would not have experienced the adventures and sequences of dreams that have come true.”
As the executive currently responsible for Red Sox public and community relations, television and video production, fan services and advertising, Steinberg has been a pioneer in ballpark entertainment. His productions have included designing the Red Sox 100th anniversary celebration, the Opening Day Ceremonies in 2005 (including the presentation of World Series rings to members of the Red Sox), and the Rolling Rallies on a fleet of Boston’s amphibious Duck Boats after the World Series Championships in 2004 and 2007.
“When I designed these events, I realized how important it was for me to identify people’s passion for baseball in general and the baseball experience,” he said. ”I fell in love with the concept, creating theater in the ballpark. When you do something that inspires 50,000 people, that’s pretty cool.”
Steinberg noted that his goal in speaking at Nichols was to teach students what he didn’t realize when he was in their shoes and interning with the Orioles. “I didn’t know how actively I was being watched or scouted. An intern may tend to think of being at the bottom and therefore inconsequential,” he said.
“However, just as ballplayers in a Rookie League may be far from the majors, the scrutiny and evaluation of them is already well underway. Good organizations are constantly looking for talent—on and off the field.”
Steinberg’s message hit home with senior Erica Mansi, Vice-President of the Sport Management Club at Nichols. “I learned that in the world of sports, nothing is impossible,” she said. “I will take my passion for youth fitness and my talent as a mentor to further my future plans.”
Steinberg also offered Nichols students some sage advice for achieving success. “Have integrity and be trustworthy and reliable,” he counseled. “Demonstrate intelligence—not just academically but with common sense and problem solving. Demonstrate a strong work ethic and become a team player with a collaborative spirit.”
Steinberg said that he was impressed by the Nichols students whom he had met. “I was taken by their spark, their lucid awareness of their talents, passions, and goals. They had been nurtured well.”