John Lombardo '96 – In the Wheelhouse
Former Tiger baseball player says leveraging relationship building and leadership skills learned at Trinity helped him to succeed as a Boston Red Sox scout.
By Donna Parker
John Lombardo was vacationing in Hawaii with wife Pam.
"I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it." Carl Yastrzemski-Boston Red Sox
The last time Boston Red Sox fans cheered their team on to a World Series Championship at home in Fenway Park, Babe Ruth was swinging a bat. Ninety-five years later, Shane Victorino's grand slam in Game Six of the American League Championship vaulted his team into the Series and paved the way to the win.
One of the key players behind the team's success is a humble, former Trinity catcher who is as much a team player as...well...the players.
"A lot of my career has involved timing-being in the right place at the right time, but also keeping company with good people and paying attention," explains John Lombardo, the pro scout for the number one team in baseball-the Boston Red Sox.
"This ball club demands excellence," says John.
"So, here's where Trinity comes in. My time there was not just a means to an end, but it prepared me for the rest of my life. The daily routine of athletic discipline when I played baseball as well as the academic rigor required us to weed through all we had to do and to multi-task. I owe a great deal to my coaches and teachers at Trinity."
"Two critical skills I learned while a Trinity student were leveraging relationship building and implementing leadership skills, and, to this day, they've been behind my career success.
"My real mentor was history professor Allan Kownslar. He helped me acclimate to college life. The personal things I was going through were difficult, and he went out of his way to ensure my successful adjustment to the whole atmosphere of college life."
"He was a tremendous influence and the one person in my life that I've emulated as a leader and personally. He is a really, really good man."
After John left Trinity with a degree in history, he earned a Master in Sports Administration from Ohio University and, through alumni networking, scored his first job as an intern for the Texas Rangers. After a promotion to director of minor league operations and a short stint with the Toronto Blue Jays, he was hired as the pro scout for the Boston Red Sox in 2011. John says this position is an opportunity to represent the team, himself, his wife, and all of the people who've supported him.
He's on the road...a lot...traveling as much as 25 days in a row, so when he has a chance to go home to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, he likes to relax with his wife, Pam, and just hang out watching movies and taking long walks. Unless, of course, they have the opportunity to go to Hawaii on travel points earned during baseball season. The 50th state scores a home run in his book, and with an eye on the future, John laughs, "My next move is to figure out how to retire there!"
John's other great joy is his annual golf weekend with a close group of friends he cultivated while a Trinity student. "We call it golf-a-pa-loo-za. Each year, we experience an outstanding resort golf course, hitting places like Coeur d'Alene, Orlando, and Tucson. But it's mostly about the fun of it all. When I see these guys, it's like no time has passed."
During his Trinity days, John and his friends hung out in the Coates Center lobby, sometimes for hours at a time. Off campus, they hit North St. Mary's, TC's and Tycoon Flats.
It's easy to tell that he has a huge place in his heart for Trinity, even though he had his pick of the U.S. Military Academy, Notre Dame, or Princeton.
"I made recruiting visits, speaking to the coaching staffs about playing ball and also talking with the educators. The choice really boiled down to my time spent on campus. It was a very difficult choice, but one that I've never regretted at any point."
"I owe a great deal to Trinity," states John. "And, I wouldn't be here without them."
You may e-mail John at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Story posted: November 2013