How a college thesis turned Phillies’ Dave Dombrowski from an aspiring general manager to the ‘man in the middle’

Late in the fall of 1977, a business administration major at Western Michigan University made an unusual request. Rather than taking final exams the first week of December, like everyone else, he asked to push them back. Or move them up. Whatever it took so he could attend Major League Baseball’s annual winter meetings. In Hawaii. It was a hard sell. But Dave Dombrowski, 21 years old yet clear-eyed about his future, explained why the trip was so necessary that he would spend most of his savings to take it. With help from two faculty advisers, he persuaded a half-dozen professors. Some must hav…

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