All about Eve, the Orioles front-office trailblazer

Assistant general manager Eve Rosenbaum has, quietly, played a pivotal role in the team’s sudden success

Since before she can even remember, Eve Rosenbaum, the assistant general manager of the Baltimore Orioles, has been faithfully committed to her hometown baseball team, having attended her first Orioles game at Memorial Stadium in 1990, when she was just 9 weeks old.

Like many long-suffering Baltimore baseball fans, however, Rosenbaum, 34, has never seen her team win the World Series or even advance to the championship. The Orioles last claimed the trophy more than four decades ago, in 1983 — seven years before she was born.

But now, as the Orioles gear up for a highly anticipated new season boasting one of their strongest rosters in recent memory, Rosenbaum, in her fifth year with the club, can be credited with helping to instill a renewed if unfamiliar sense of mounting excitement with just a few weeks until Opening Day.

“The team last year was good enough and our players are only going to continue to mature and get better,” Rosenbaum told Jewish Insider in a recent interview, “so I’m definitely excited for the season coming up.”

Speaking from Sarasota, Fla., where the Orioles are now midway through spring training, Rosenbaum noted that expectations are especially high this year as the players ride the momentum from a 101-win season in 2023 that took them all the way to the American League Division Series — a remarkable turnaround for a team that had long been stuck in last place.

“There’s a different vibe at spring training this year,” she told JI. In the past, “sometimes it would kind of be like, ‘OK, we’re just trying to get through the season, and then it’s like, ‘OK, we’re trying to figure out who’s an interesting player or who might stick around.” 

This year, on the other hand, “it’s like, ‘We’re here, we’re legit, people have to take us seriously,” she said. “I think the talent we’re going to put on the field is going to be a super exciting collection of players.”

Most notably, that collection now includes Corbin Burnes, the Cy Young-winning pitcher whom the Orioles acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers last month in a blockbuster trade that is likely to boost Baltimore’s odds of advancing to the World Series. 

The deal hardly seemed assured, even right up to the end of negotiations, according to Rosenbaum,  who played a key role in orchestrating the trade. The acquisition, she said, followed a monthslong “back and forth” of offers and counteroffers often sent via text message, accompanied by moments of silence that could cast doubt on the entire process. 

“At various times throughout the offseason, it was like a roller-coaster in terms of do we think this deal is going to get done? Yes. Do we think it’s going to get done? No,” she said. “You just never know when it’s going to happen, so we were just working day in and day out on it.”

The trade was announced shortly after news broke that the Angelos family had reached an agreement to sell its controlling stake of the Orioles to David Rubenstein, the billionaire private equity investor, in a deal valued at $1.7 billion. 

“For most of my career, I just really didn’t think about the fact that I was one of the only women in the room or that there weren’t a lot of women in sports or in baseball in general,” Rosenbaum said. “I just sort of kept my head down and did my work, because ultimately, the team on the field is trying to win.”

Rosenbaum, for her part, said she did “not have much to say about” the deal for now, noting that it “is still going through the vetting and approval process with the MLB,” even as Rubenstein was in Florida over the weekend to see the team in action. “But I think it’s a super, super exciting time to be here,” she added, “and I’m just looking forward to everything that comes ahead for the Orioles both on and off the field.”

As one of the few female front-office executives in Major League Baseball, Rosenbaum, a protégé of Mike Elias, the Orioles’ executive vice president and general manager, occupies a rarefied position. But Rosenbaum, who led international scouting for the Houston Astros before she was recruited to Baltimore in 2019 to direct baseball development, says she never gave much thought to her unique status.

“For most of my career, I just really didn’t think about the fact that I was one of the only women in the room or that there weren’t a lot of women in sports or in baseball in general,” she explained. “I just sort of kept my head down and did my work, because ultimately, the team on the field is trying to win.”

The baseball wunderkind, who was promoted to assistant general manager in 2022, credits that focus, in part, to playing on boys’ sports teams while growing up in Bethesda, Md. 

“I was the only girl on a boys’ baseball team for a long time,” said Rosenbaum, who later played softball at Harvard, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2012. “I was also the only girl on a boys’ soccer team. And that was the goal, the other boys soccer team, which was very unusual. It just sort of became part of who I was.”

With hindsight, she added, “I can look back on my career and know that it was probably harder for me to get to where I am than it was for potentially men in similar positions.”

“Maybe there were difficulties or challenges I had to overcome that I didn’t appreciate at the time because I just had my head down and was trying to power through,” said Rosenbaum, who began her career in baseball, in college, as an intern with the Boston Red Sox. “But at the same time, I’m still out here trying to get the Orioles back to the playoffs and get the Orioles back to the World Series,” she added. “That’s really the goal.”

Eve Rosenbaum (Baltimore Orioles)

By the same token, Rosenbaum, who keeps in touch with Jewish friends from high school on group chat called “Jewthesda,” said that she often feels at a loss to explain how, if at all, her Judaism informs her passion for baseball, which has long drawn the interest of Jews.

Throughout her childhood, Rosenbaum’s faith would, on occasion, intersect with her favorite sport. At her bat mitzvah, for instance, her cake was a baseball. Her father’s gift, meanwhile, was a membership to the Society for American Baseball Research. “For some reason, I do feel like Jews have a special relationship to baseball,” she mused, without venturing an explanation. “It just kind of is.”

“I don’t know that it’s influencing my player evaluation philosophies,” Rosenbaum said of her Judaism. “But it is just nice to know other Jews around the game and we kind of can nod at each other and just kind of know that we have this special bond with the game and this special bond with each other.”

Rosenbaum declined to share details of her conversations with Dean Kremer, the Orioles’ Israeli-American starting pitcher, before he took the mound last fall in his first career playoff game, just days after Hamas’ Oct. 7 invasion. 

“It just so happens that we’re in the playoffs and he’s making his playoff debut while this horrible attack is happening,” she recalled. “It was a highly personal moment for him.”

It was also the end of the Orioles’ postseason, as the team was swept by the Texas Rangers in three games, dashing its hopes of advancing to the World Series.

Even as she projects confidence while looking ahead to the coming season, Rosenbaum was still mindful not to promise the title, however, lest she jinx herself and the team.

“I would never make any sort of proclamation like ‘we’re going to win the World Series,’” she said, before invoking a superstition unique to her sport. “I think people will tell you that the baseball Gods will punish you for saying something like that.”

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