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Burlington mayor turns to baseball for inspiration - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Burlington mayor turns to baseball for inspiration

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

It's no secret Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger loves baseball. He even finds time to play in a men's league once a week. But you may not know he once made a career, albeit short lived, of the game he loves.

"The summer after my freshmen year was the best summer of my life," he explained. "I somehow borrowed my mom's car; got a job with the Valley News and they hired me to write a series of Saturday columns about all 26 major league baseball stadiums."

And while on that trip he met a writer named Dan Riley, who offered him a dream opportunity.

"He hired me to edit this anthology of kind of great writing about the Yankees and I ended up doing that during my sophomore year of college," Weinberger said.

And so by the end of his sophomore year at Yale, Weinberger was a published editor of "The Yankees Reader," a job that forced him to work across party lines. If the tattered hat, ragged from watching seasons of nail-biters didn't give it away, he's always been a diehard Red Sox fan.

"What can I say about that? It was a bit of a mercenary act, but at the time I couldn't think of something much better to be paid having a job reading and writing about baseball-- even if it was about the Yankees," he said.

His love of baseball is reflected in his work. He looks at bringing change to city hall like a coach trying to build a winning team.

"Look what happened with the Red Sox. It had been 80 plus years until they won a world series until they got some management that cared about statistics and hired this guy Bill James with the baseball abstracts to focus on performance analysis and within few years they ended that drought," Weinberger said.

Baseball has even inspired him to push for a new education program called the Partnership for Change, an effort to get high school students more engaged in learning by incorporating their passions.

"I did fine in the traditional high school setting, but I think some of the learning that was most important was doing this and reading a couple newspapers every day about the Red Sox game the night before, reading every spring the statistical books, which was this great statistical analysis of baseball that had never been done before," he said.

Weinberger is one-third of the way through his term, but he feels if he pushes for small changes every day, in the end, team Miro will come out on top.

"There's a great quote out there-- life like baseball is a process of accumulation. You gotta go out there every day and work hard every day and make progress every day, and I think that's an effort we try to bring into the mayor's office."

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