Meet Major League Baseball Executive: Katy Feeney
Anyone who has worked in or around Major League Baseball for the last 70 years knows the Feeney family name. Charles “Chub” Feeney served baseball for 40 years, including 17 as president of the National League and the family legacy continues with Katy Feeney, his daughter. Katy has enjoyed an extremely successful career in baseball. Katy joined the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs in 1977 and has served in a variety of positions from Assistant Director of Public Relations, to her current duties as Senior Vice President, Club Relations and Scheduling for Major League Baseball. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and was the winner of the prestigious Robert O. Fishel Award in 1994. Katy is based out of MLB’s New York office and is also the focus of this week’s Q&A.
1. Tell us about your position and your responsibilities with Major League Baseball
My title is Senior Vice President, Scheduling and Club Relations and my responsibilities include: the schedules for all 30 Major League Baseball teams, regular season and spring training, and rescheduling any postponed games; working with the National League All-Star team, from the balloting through the team leaving after the game; working with the National League teams during all levels of the post-season; overseeing National League Player of the Week, Month, Pitcher of the Month and Rookie of the Month voting and awards; various other club-related responsibilities.
2. You have a great family history and personal connection with Baseball. Can you share with us a few early memories of the Feeney family and baseball?
I remember the excitement of moving from New York to San Francisco. My brothers and I were young enough that we did not realize the Giants were breaking peoples’ hearts by moving. We just thought we were on an adventure.
3. Tell us what your average week is like, both in season and the off-season
There is no such thing as an average week. During the season my week can depend on the weather, how close we are to the All-star Game or the end of the season. We work on the schedules approximately a year and a half prior to Opening Day.
4. Talk about your career path, starting from your first job until you arrived to your current position with MLB today
I am the last person in my family anyone, including myself, thought would be working in baseball. I was between jobs when the National League office, which was in San Francisco, needed a temporary Public Relations Secretary prior to relocating to New York. I ended up being asked to move to New York for a year to help with the transition….it has been a long year! I worked for the National League until the Leagues were consolidated and Major League Baseball graciously created my job, which includes some of the responsibilities I had working for the National League with American League teams added to some of those responsibilities.
Best advice I ever received is to take a deep breath before responding to anything in anger.
6. What are the your top sports memories you are most fond of telling others?
There are so many exciting games I have attended as going to baseball games is what we did for enjoyment as children and part of my job now, and I find it difficult to isolate memories.
7. What do you tell people you meet who want a career working in the sports management business?
I find it difficult to give advice because so many think of the sports industry as a “glamour” business and it actually entails a lot of hard work and time for most positions. I tell people to be prepared to accept most any position, minor league or major league, if they are seriously interested in working in baseball. If it is sports in general that interests them, I say there are so many avenues, not just teams and leagues. Sports management companies, sports division of major companies have grown greatly since I started working for baseball.
8. Name three mentors (at least) and why they’ve had an impact.
I guess I would have to mention three mentors: my father, Bart Giamatti and Bill White. All three guided me in the business and at the same time trusted me to make my own decisions and learn from my mistakes.
9. If you were not working in sports today, what would you be doing?
10. Executives talk about being passionate in your job. What are you passionate about and why?
I am passionate about the game – it is always enjoyable and intriguing; each game is different and often surprises with something new. Also, the people in the game are some of the finest, most interesting and hardest working people I know.