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Phillies hiring a specialist to help foreign players acclimate to the US

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The Phillies are hiring someone to help non-English speaking players with their baseball transition.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Philadelphia Phillies Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Hopefully you have noticed by now that the Phillies have a lot of Latin American players. Not just at the major league level, but at all levels of the organization. And it looks like the Phillies are actively trying to help them acclimate to life in professional baseball.

How do I know? The job they posted on Team Work Online, titled “Coordinator, Language Education and Cultural Assimilation” seems to be a good indication. The job description goes into a fair amount of detail about what the Coordinator would be responsible for, and much of it seems to be evaluating current programs, upgrading them, and creating new ones.

What kind of programs? I’m so glad you asked. It focuses on providing players with the skills they need to “maximize their potential,” and that starts with creating “ an all-inclusive environment/program within our system... that promotes cohesiveness between different cultures.” That’s a great place to begin.

Of course, that involves more than just saying those words and assuming it’s going to happen. According to the job description, the Coordinator has complete autonomy over what they oversee, giving them ability to make whatever changes to the team’s current programs that they deem necessary. They’re responsible for the English as a Second Language (ESL) program, creating a cultural transition program, and even creating tailored programs for individual players.

The education doesn’t appear to stop there. This tidbit from the description is especially encouraging.

The [Coordinator] will also develop and modify if necessary, the following educational programs: language programs, HS diploma (CENAPEC) or GED in US, trade school if needed, and college programs.

Recognition that baseball won’t be these players’ entire lives is important. The Phillies are giving them a chance to further their non-baseball education.

There isn’t a single negative thing to say about this. It’s a great thing for the Phillies to do for their players who are moving to the United States, young and with limited language skills. The beat writers have done a great job chronicling the journeys of the Phillies’ Latin American players, and it’s clear that moving to the United States and having limited language skills and experiencing culture shock can be both difficult and incredibly isolating. It’s not enough to sign them, give them a bonus, and bring them to the US. The team has a greater responsibility to these players.

It looks like the Phillies are taking their role in these players’ lives seriously, and it’s good to see. If you have any of the skills that this description calls for, you should apply. It looks like a great chance to make a difference in both Major League Baseball and in players’ lives.