The GM's Perspective recently spoke with Erik Nilsen, Director, Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.) at Major League Baseball. B.A.T. was formed in 1986 by former MLB'ers. It was originally funded confidentially to help members of an exclusive fraternity who were in need of assistance and were out of options. Whether, it's medical, financial or psychological assistance, Nilsen and his team are there to lend a helping hand. We were fortunate enough to speak and learn more about the organization and the assistance that it can provide to those in need.
The GM’s Perspective: What is your background and how did you got started with the organization?
Erik Nilsen: I played baseball my entire life. I played Division 3 ball for State University of New York at New Paltz for two years than my final two years at York College of Pennsylvania. I was a catcher at D3 and majored in sports management. My thought process was, if I can’t play professional baseball, I also had a dream to work in professional baseball one day. After school I did some internships (Hudson Valley Renegades) and then found a position with the Mets (New York) as a telemarketing sales representative. I did that for about six months and got promoted to group sales rep. After about a year and a half in that role I saw a position with the Commissioner’s office working for the Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.) It was pretty enticing knowing I could work in the game, but also help people on a daily basis. I went for the interview and got a phone interview with Bobby Murcer while I was working at Shea Stadium. I eventually got hired in December of 2005 and have been here since. I was promoted to Director in August of 2013.