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Brewers’ executive Marti Wronski, Hank’s mom, takes part in symposium on women in baseball: ‘A lot more to be done’

Marti Wronski

MILWAUKEE -- Ever since Jackie Robinson was signed by the Dodgers, there has been diversity in baseball. It continues to this day, as women are now a big focus of Major League Baseball. There's a trailblazer in the game who just happens to work for the Milwaukee Brewers.

"I did not grow up saying 'I'm going to work in pro sports.' I didn't," Marti Wronski said.

Wronski is the general counsel and senior vice president of administration for the Brewers. She's been with the club since 2008.

"I oversee HR, IT and Legal in (Miller Park)," Wronski said.

For the most part, it's been a wonderful journey.

"My first mistake I made, after starting here, Doug Melvin, God love him, was our GM at the time, and the first interview I ever did, somebody said, 'have you always been a Brewers' fan?' I said, 'uh, I'm totally a Packers' fan,' and the headline was, 'Wronski Not a Brewer Fan'. And I was mortified. I went in to Doug and was like, 'whoops.' He said I wasn't a Brewers fan until I got here either," Wronski said.

Marti Wronski

Marti Wronski

Her next brush with notoriety as a full-fledged Brewers' fan came in 2014 when a scruffy dog later named Hank strolled into the Brewers' spring training facility -- and then into her life.

"I will tell you, Hank added a little something to our world that made it a little crazier than it already was. Frankly, I say my kids are going to write a book one day that's called, 'Hank and my Crazy Mom and Other Stories From Baseball.' Hank added so profoundly, in a good way, to my family and to this organization. He's done so much as this little creature," Wronski said.

Marti Wronski

Clearly, family has a major role in all of this for Wronski. Her children's artwork and their pictures fill her office.

"They view this as a family thing. They view this as what we do. I always try to hand them some of my work. It doesn't go over very well. They're a huge part of the story," Wronski said.

Her story is rare for a woman in Major League Baseball, but that is changing because of the late Katy Feeny, the former senior VP for scheduling and club relations for MLB, who passed away in April 2017.

"She had asked during her lifetime that Major League Baseball focus on the development of women in baseball," Wronski said.

At baseball's winter meetings in December, Feeny's wishes came true.

"We really had an intensive day of completely positive education and insight, new ways of looking at things that were presented by Stanford, but really with a focus toward the advancement of women in baseball," Wronski said.

Led by representatives from Stanford's Graduate School of Business and Executive Education, the symposium had women from every team in baseball, including Wronski.

"This wasn't just lawyers. It was executives across the board, so it was really nice to see women across the board there from all different positions and rankings," Wronski said.

Seminars on team building and inclusion in the workplace created opportunities for the women to take on bigger roles in bringing women into the fold.

"The women that were there who are younger and newer to baseball all together, their energy and their desire to continue to be in baseball and make baseball better, regardless of their gender frankly, but to be able to sort of have a role in baseball was energizing to say the very least," Wronski said.

Wronski said she believes this is an important part of any place of business, especially hers.

"It was a conversation, a very positive conversation about how we can continue to demonstrate what we can add to the game, what we can bring to the game, not just on the business side, but on the baseball side as well," Wronski said.

As baseball expands its diversity, look for Wronski and the Brewers to take on a leading role.

"There is a lot more to be done in this -- so much of it is just awareness," Wronski said.

Wronski said she believes MLB will continue to work toward expanding opportunities for women in the game.