October 21, 2019 | By: Lisa Chin Marvashti
As a freshman at Mary Washington, Pat Filippone ’88 knew right off the bat what he wanted to do with his life – build a career in professional baseball. He just didn’t know how. Four years later all that had changed, he told a crowd last week at the Jepson Alumni Executive Center.
A bachelor’s degree in business administration, a well-rounded perspective from a liberal arts education, and an undergraduate career marked by personal attention from memorable professors, allowed him to hit a grand slam in his professional life. Now the president of 7th Inning Stretch, which owns and operates three minor league baseball teams, Filippone returned to campus last week as this year’s College of Business (COB) Executive-in-Residence.
The program, now in its 30th year, gives UMW students the opportunity to learn from and interact with established corporate leaders.
“The foundation of my career was definitely built here,” Filippone told a roomful of community leaders, UMW business students and administrators last Thursday morning.
Also a founding board member of Minor League Baseball Enterprises – the marketing and business development initiative of Minor League Baseball – his nearly three-decades career began in 1991 with the Prince William Cannons of the Carolina League. From sales and operations, he was promoted to general manager, before accepting successive roles as vice president/general manager of the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes of the California League and president of the Fresno Grizzlies of the Pacific Coast League. With 7th Inning Stretch, Filippone has overseen purchases of the Delmarva Shorebirds and the Everett AquaSox.
He credited Mary Washington faculty members Patricia Metzger, Gardner Campbell and Marshall Bowen with taking the time to make a personal impact on his education and on his future success. The one-on-one attention, coupled with the confidence and perspective he gained in college, helped him build leadership skills he was able to transfer from the East to the West Coast in a game-changing career.
“It’s an awesome time for our sport, particularly in this area,” Filippone said, citing the recent creation of the Fredericksburg Nationals minor league baseball team, of which UMW is a major sponsor, and the Washington Nationals’ first-ever spot in the World Series.