When you think of a professional baseball player’s etiquette, images of tobacco chewing and sunflower seed spitting may come to mind. Etiquette consultant Susan Huston is trying to change that.
Huston spent six hours last month teaching Texas Rangers rookie prospects everything from how to tie a necktie to where to place empty sugar packets when drinking tea at a restaurant(underneath the saucer folded neatly).
The 20 players she coached “have to represent the Texas Rangers ,” Huston noted. “The purpose is to give them self-confidence and make better impressions of the Texas Rangers and themselves. I have to reinforce the things your mother taught you.”
“The players were very respectful,” said Huston, whose consulting firm, Susan Huston Fashion Concepts, is based in Arlington, Texas. “I could tell by the questions that they were serious. It’s neat to know that they tried, and it wasn’t a joke for them.
The players gave Huston â€œrave reviews,â€ said Reid Nichols, director of player development. John Blake, the team’s head of public relations, said Huston’s work, combined with other elements of the rookie program, is making the Rangers minor league players much more prepared for life in the majors than they were a few years ago.
“And the work could be of some importance to the prospects” playing careers, Nichols said.
“Character is important to this organization,” he said.”If we have two players with the same talent, we will take the player with the better character every time.”
Dan Weil, Staff Writer
Excerpts from Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journalism Volume 2 Issue 46
March 6-12, 2000