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What Brodie Van Wagenen learned from his father-in-law Neil Armstrong



When Brodie Van Wagenen took up his new job as General Manager of the Mets, he brought with him knowledge that he had acquired over the years from his family – especially a message that resonated with his father-in-law.

If this father-in-law is Neil Armstrong, the first man to enter the moon, there is, of course, a wide choice, even if you have spent your professional life in baseball and not in space.

"After I came here and since then – especially when I started putting together a plan – I've been thinking about the parallels between the two jobs, albeit on a smaller, less significant scale," Van Wagenen said this spring in Port St. Lucie. 19659002] "When he started the astronaut program, there was a mission statement for the nation to put a man on the moon within 1

0 years," Van Wagenen said of 1961's famous speech by President John F. Kennedy. "I came in here and said our goal is to win a championship. You can not just say it. There has to be a process to make this possible. "

This process began after being acquired as Mets GM in October.

" They looked at the space program in the 1960s and it came with a big progress ahead, "said Van Wagenen "Mistake was not an option, it's far less effective, but failure is not an option for me, we need to surround ourselves with the right players and the people behind the scenes to make it happen."

  Neil Armstrong </p>
<figure id=  19659007] Neil Armstrong </span><span class= NASA on Getty Images

Van Wagenen met his wife Molly Two were in Stanford Molly's mother, Carol, was introduced to Armstrong in 1992 and the two married in 1994 and remained in retirement until the astronaut's death 2012 together.

When Van Wagenen became one of the most powerful agents in sports at CAA, he learned a considerable amount from Armstrong.

"I think the people you care about in the course of your life There are consequences, some are big and others, "said Van Wagenen. "I've had a lot of people in my family who have influenced me, and for 20 years I have had the chance to be part of Neil's family and it's clear he's made me who I am now."

Although Armstrong's Unique Background Van Wagenen does not necessarily depend on the sport, but he has also familiarized himself with the other characteristics of his father-in-law.

"He was a smart, interesting and fascinating man with experiences that not many of us really understand," said Van Wagenen. "What struck me about Neil was that he was prepared. I never asked him a question to which he would respond without fully understanding the problem. And if he had no answer at that moment, he would stop and get it. It could come an hour later or in a month, but it was based on facts and truth and was delivered with conviction. I tried to apply this to my own life.

Van Wagenen's success or failure in his new role, however, is judged by victories and losses, not by milestones writing history. However, he recognizes the importance of his time spent with Armstrong in his own career.

"I did not think of the size when I met him because it was daily and organic," said Van Wagenen. "I did not try to write a research paper about him. I just got to know him.

  Brodie Van Wagenen with Mickey Callaway
Brodie Van Wagenen with Mickey Callaway Anthony J Causi

Ever since he took over the helm of the Mets, Van Wagenen has not shied away from the limelight, but he wants that the credit – if it comes to it – is distributed.

"Neil never liked being in the public eye," said Van Wagenen. "He valued the engineers [at NASA] just as much – if not more – than his crew, because it was the engineers who brought the astronauts into position for a successful mission. We have the same mindset here.

Again with different goals – though winning a World Series title for the first time since 1986 is probably as monumental as the first moon run.

OK. Maybe not.

(If you wondered, this was one of Van Wagenen's topics with Armstrong: "I asked him for a moonwalk after training, as he's never done before, where and how would you do it? Foot of a volcano in Hawaii, who knew? "

Van Wagenen's attempt to renew the Mets squad included the signing of Infielder Jed Lowrie and Lefty Reliever Justin Wilson, but the most significant step came in trading Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak and Gerson Bautista along with top prospects Justin Dunn and Jarred Kelenic to Seattle in exchange for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz.

"We literally talked to every team about all sorts of players, many of whom were excited. but we still asked, "Van Wagenen said," We're happy to get the guys we did, we're just starting to build something here. "

Just under eight After Kennedy's speech, Armstrong took the first step on the moon on July 21, 1969. Van Wagenen would undoubtedly want to achieve his goal in less time.


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