Oakland A’s Traveling Secretary Mickey Morabito who has been with the club since 1981 (file photo sfgate.com)
Really Inside Baseball: Exclusive with Mickey Morabito Athletics Traveling Secretary
That’s Amaury News and Commentary
By Amaury Pi-González
Mickey Morabito is the longtime Oakland Athletics Traveling Secretary. Like everybody else in the baseball world he is on “stand by” but not just sitting at home watching the flowers bloom. I talked with Mickey, whom I have known since he came from New York to the Bay Area. At this time just beginning the month of May, if there is a baseball season it would be an abbreviated one, like the 1981 season.
Q: We all are living a unique experience, with basically the whole country paralyzed, including baseball. As a Traveling Secretary how has this affected your job?
MM: It’s been stressful. I had to keep in touch with all our hotels, letting them know to cancel our rooms. I have been canceling three weeks out, as of now I have cancelled all my hotel rooms through the Houston,Texas trip at the end of May. I also called to let out bus and truck companies know we won’t need their services….I feel bad for all of the hospitality industry…including our airline since we are not flying. I am hopeful we can play some kind of abbreviated season.
Q:As far as you can remember any other situation that resembles this when it comes to travel with the team?
MM: We have experienced weather situations. Once when a hurricane came through the Tampa area we cancelled our series there and flew to Baltimore, the next stop on that trip. We had also had mechanical situations with our plane that caused re-routing.
Morabito’s job with the Athletics is one that requires organization and communication all the time. To make the team performs well on the field, so that players are on time and rested, wherever they go, especially when they go on the road. To make sure all players, manager, coaches and staff are all on the same page.
Q: Can you give me an idea of some of the stuff that goes on before every road trip?
MM: I distribute a detailed itinerary for each trip…that has all charter times, bus times to airports and stadiums that the players and our traveling party can follow.
Q: I remember when you first arrived in Oakland from New York,with Billy Martin did you expect to be with the A’s organization this long?
MM: I didn’t really know what to expect when I came here with Billy…it looked like we would only be in Oakland for the 1980 season and then would be sold to Marvin Davis and moved to Denver. But thankfully the Haas family stepped up and bought the team from Finley and kept the A’s in Oakland. I have enjoyed my 40 years here.
Q:I know you are a big baseball fan. When you were growing up, who was your favorite team and player?
MM: I grew up a big Yankee fan,living in Brooklyn so it was a dream to get a job working for them…my favorite player growing up was Bobby Richardson.
Q:I do not think there is a school for your type of job. For those, especially young people that love the game and might be interested in doing what you have been doing so well for so many decades, did you have a mentor? What is your advice.
MM: I was the Public Relations Director in New York and when I came to Oakland, Finley told me I had to do both jobs to start. So it was a lot of on the job training, but since I have traveled with the Yankees I had a clue about what happened on the road. The Yankees traveling secretary at the time was Bill Kane, who was a good mentor for me. Somebody wanting to get into this job, I would recommend just getting any job,I would recommend just getting any job in baseball opportunities to get started.
Q: Can you name your best day as Traveling Secretary and your worse?
MM: Winning the ’89 World Series against the Giants, one of the worse was losing the wild card game to Kansas City.
Andy Dolich, longtime baseball executive in the Bay Area, with the Oakland Athletics, Dolich helped change the face of sports team advertising through the Clio Award winning “BillyBall” and who has also known Morabito for decades told me: “Mickey Morabito is the best in the business. He is the Swiss Army Knife of solving the complex world of moving teams around the country. He was the team’s answer to the GPS before there was a GPS”
I want to thank Mickey Morabito for taking his time for this interview. Just because there is no baseball as we can see he is busy today with his work. Hopefully we will see him soon.
Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Oakland A’s Spanish play by play voice on itunes and on 1010 KIQI San Francisco and does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com