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San Francisco Giants Executive Shares Key Ingredient to Success

Tom Buehring - 700 Club Producer

San Francisco Giants General Manager Bobby Evans helps build championship teams, minus baseball cards and fantasy leagues. He’s the guy that makes the real deals, saying,  
“There’s so many different elements that factor into decisions, what our staff and player development people understand about the person as well as well as the performance, but also their work ethic and the make-up of the player. Dependence upon on the analytics of the game now! There’s economic factors, it is a complex formula but again, it’s an organic process, it can’t happen overnight. Some things just take time.”

Much like his ascent within the organization! Hired in 1994 as an administrative assistant, Bobby’s now emerged as both Senior Vice-President and GM of the Giants – 3-time World Series Champions over the past seven seasons. Does it get harder or easier to sustain that success? Bobby believes, “It is getting harder, I don’t think its getting easier there’s obstacles from a financial perspective, there’s obstacles in terms of the pool of talent, the competition, the teams are getting better and stronger and they’re sustaining success. Injuries, you know, players are getting older! You know, the turnover is a hard part of it.”

In his role, the expectation to win is a given, but ultimately limited to just one championship team. So, what does he value most in measuring success? Bobby thoughtfully answers with, “It’s a great question! There’s a lot of ways to measure success but for us, on the field, its having sustained success and having to compete year in and year out. But I think there are others ways just in terms of the culture of the organization and the hard work of our scouts whether it be free agent signings, trades or players coming up through the system. A lot of our success is measured it how what kind of impact we make in the community of San Francisco and the Bay Area and you see success measured in the hearts of our players and in terms of how they reach out.”

The year-round roster changes are time consuming. Bobby’s phone is never off – often requiring three full recharges per day! He remembers, “when I first started I had to find a payphone in the restaurant first, that was first and foremost. And if they didn’t have a payphone, I’d have to find a new restaurant.”

As a Major League G-M, Bobby is among a small fraternity of only 30 pro baseball executives. While his field of view is focused, his perspective stays simple. How does he walk the tightrope of overseeing an organization that brings guys in as a commodity to fill a need - while caring for their wellbeing? Bobby explains,  “Well I think it just goes hand in hand. I mean we care about the whole person and so this organization is its people and it is its players and I think as General Managers – we don’t want to lead our players astray to make decisions that affect their families, their future and their career based on misinformation.  And it all goes together. Unless you value them first as a person, you’ll never value them appropriately as a player.”

Bobby’s league-wide reputation for integrity and consistency spans and links his public and private life. Bobby says,  “One of the ways I keep up with some of my closer friends is they come out to the ballpark.  It blends sort of blends two worlds together and it’s a great industry for families, it’s hard because you spend time apart as you work here but how many places where your family is so welcomed to come out and be a part of it? We should strive to be the same person at the whether at a business meeting at the office or we’re at a bible study.”

When asked, how is excellence tied to Biblical living, Bobby responds by saying,  “I mean, I think that’s what Christ calls us to – our best – in Christ! And our best in Christ is our best beyond ourselves – when our dependence is on Him, not on ourselves. Our trust is in Him and we’re not performing for Him, we’re trusting Him and allowing Him to do the work that He will do in His time, in us and through us. There’s a dependence on Him and that’s just part of life lived, day to day. I look back on times in my life where I’ve experienced His Presence. At a time where I felt like I needed direction … when I needed comfort when I lost my mom and not long later, my dad … wisdom in the midst of His guidance – but it’s ultimately it’s a relationship that Christ gives us with Him, that we’re privileged.”

The engineer and lead negotiator for one of baseball’s storied franchises, remains true to his childhood faith in his own pursuit of excellence. Bobby believes,  “Part of relationships require time with Him and having the discipline to spend time hearing His voice or seeking Him through his Word. As a man, a husband, and a father – there’s no way to do it alone.”

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