Nov. 26, 2012
The "Eagles in the Pros" series highlights former Boston College baseball players who have been successful in careers outside of baseball. Steve Langone ('00) played in the minor leagues for six years before starting his career in the front offices of the baseball world. He is now the advanced scouting coordinator for the Boston Red Sox.
Q: How did you end up as the advanced scouting coordinator for the Boston Red Sox?
A: After I was done playing professionally, I ended up getting a "real world" job in finance. It made me realize that I wanted to get back into the game in some capacity. I made this known to a couple of the Red Sox baseball operations guys whom I happened to know from my playing days. They informed me that they were interviewing for an intern position within baseball operations. I was granted an interview and was fortunate enough to be hired. So I was a 31-year old intern! I was mainly assisting on the advance scouting side, but was helping out in other areas, such as player development, pro and amateur scouting, as well as making coffee runs for Theo! After that 2009 season, we had some shuffling within the office due to Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod going to the San Diego Padres, which ultimately caused an opening at the advance scouting coordinator position, a full-time job. I was offered the position and immediately accepted.
Q: What aspects of playing for the Eagles helped you in your current position with the Sox?
A: Being a two-way player at BC has helped me in my current position. As the advance scouting coordinator, I am in charge of preparing scouting reports on our opponents on hitting, pitching, base running, defense and managerial tendencies. Having played on both sides of the ball gives me a better perspective on all of those areas and has given me more credibility with the players and coaches.
Q: What was one of your favorite baseball moments at Boston College?
A: My favorite moment was beating Notre Dame in the Big East Tournament in 2000. Down 3-2 with two outs in the top of the ninth, Mike Quirk hit a two-run home run to take the lead. I went out and finished the game in the bottom half of the ninth and we celebrated on the field as a team. It was BC's first Big East Tournament win.
Personally, hitting two homers at Fenway Park in the Beanpot Tournament in 1999 and winning the Beanpot MVP was a highlight, as was playing against the Boston Red Sox in Fort Myers every spring.
Q: What advice would you give current student-athletes who want to play professionally after college? Or those who want to go into athletics?
A: For those players who have aspirations of playing professionally, it is important to constantly work to improve in all areas of the game. Not just taking swings, ground balls or throwing, but taking care of your body and mind. Staying flexible and strong is very important, but so is improving your mental toughness. There are plenty of physically talented players who never reach their potential due to their inability to overcome obstacles on and off the field. Those who are mentally tough can get through challenging times, minimize the length of performance slumps and allow for peak performance in pressure situations. These are all things that separate good players from great ones.
For those student-athletes that want to go into an off-field position in professional sports, I would tell them to broaden their scope. They need to be willing to go anywhere and do anything to get a foot in the door. Once you are in somewhere, you develop relationships with people who will eventually move up the ladder or move to another organization. By demonstrating a strong work ethic, along with quality of work, it will inevitably lead to opportunities for promotion. You never know who is going to be the person who will eventually determine your career path, so treat everybody with respect and always give 100 percent at every task that you are given.
Q: What is it like to play college ball in your home state and now work for your hometown team?
A: Playing college baseball 25 minutes from my hometown was great. My parents were able to go to every home game. My father made just about every road game as well! Other friends and family would come to the games on the weekends too.
I've been fortunate to be able to work for the hometown Red Sox, a team that I grew up rooting for and admiring. Working in baseball, you realize that most people don't get to work for their hometown team. Jobs in the game are hard to come by, so most people take any job that they can get and will move across the country to do so. Working for the hometown team can be a bit of a challenge at times, with ticket requests and people wanting to know what is going on behind the scenes, especially in our recent tough times, but the benefits far outweigh the challenges.
Q: What educational aspects did BC afford you that have helped in your career?
A: There were several times during each semester that I'd feel swamped and overloaded with work. It forced me to manage my time, put in long hours, and find a way to get all of it done, all the while fulfilling the demands of playing on the baseball team. Working in advance scouting, there is often more work than there is time. Finding a way to grind through it and get everything done on time is a skill that I first learned during some of those stressful times at BC.
Also, majoring in finance has helped me in managing my department's budget effectively. I also deal a lot with Microsoft Excel, which I first became familiar with at BC. Even after eight years of rarely using Excel, the working knowledge that I developed at BC allowed for a steep learning curve.