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WARREN HARDING Tribe VP tells kids to be persistent



Published: Wed, February 13, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Bob DiBiasio told Warren Harding students to persevere in quest of their goals.

By BRIAN RICHESSON

VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF

WARREN -- Bob DiBiasio has a message for high school students preparing for the job world -- be persistent.

That's how DiBiasio became vice-president of public relations for the Cleveland Indians. The 47-year-old Lakewood native knew at a young age that he wanted to work for his hometown major league baseball team.

So he wrote the Indians. And he wrote again. And he wrote some more.

"I wrote letters every other day to the [public relations] guy of the Cleveland Indians," DiBiasio said Tuesday during Warren Harding High's Pathway Program, which helps students prepare to enter the workplace. "I told him that one day I wanted his job."

Degrees: DiBiasio earned degrees in journalism and education from Ohio Wesleyan University before receiving a master's degree in journalism from Ohio State University.

DiBiasio had opportunities for a short time in the newspaper field and teaching before the Indians finally called.

Employed by the Indians since 1979, DiBiasio may have known early the path he wanted to take. Other high school and college students may not.

"Don't be worried that you don't identify what you want to do the rest of your life," he said. "There's time in your life when that will become apparent to you. That's what the wonderful thing about college is -- it gives you the opportunity to try different things, to see how you evolve as a person."

Field of choice: But when you do discover a field of choice, attack it aggressively, DiBiasio said.

"Identify what you want to do, find the professional in charge and write," he said. "It's called networking. Believe me, there's people out there who want to help students."

Although DiBiasio may enjoy his "dream job," he admits that it can be challenging at times. When the Indians are forced to make changes that may not be popular with fans, it's the responsibility of DiBiasio to assure them everything is going to be all right.

"I've worked with the team since '79, so there were some bleak years," he said. "For those of us who knew what baseball was like [in Cleveland] in the '70s and '80s, this was not that bad of an off-season."

New emphasis: The off-season included departures of second baseman Roberto Alomar and right fielder Juan Gonzalez. With new general manager Mark Shapiro, the Indians are shifting from a power-oriented team to one that emphasizes pitching.

"People are going to realize that our offense is going to be more balanced," DiBiasio said. "So we're going to have to take advantage of pitching and defense; that's what wins in October.

"If we win the [American League Central Division] and get to the playoffs, our fans will understand," he said. "It's a simple report card in our business."

richesson@vindy.com




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