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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Baseball’s Biggest Fan

John Lord, Ph.D., showing off his batting stance (Photo by Brianna Genello ’19).

The athletic passions of John Lord.

On Nov. 2, 2016, John Lord 71, Ph.D., professor of sports marketing, turned off the TV and went to bed, disgusted with the baseball game he had been watching. In the 8th inning, his team had blown their three-run lead, and he just couldn’t watch anymore.

At around 12:50 a.m., Lord was awakened by his wife Joan Lord, telling him to turn the TV back on. Lord kept the TV on for the next three hours. His beloved Chicago Cubs had pulled it off after all, winning their first World Series since 1908. While their number-one fan slept, the Cubs had beaten the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in a 10th-inning, Game 7 clincher.

“I started to get text messages from everyone I met throughout the years congratulating me for the Cubs win,” Lord said.

Lord grew up in suburban Chicago and has been a baseball fan, and a die-hard Cubs fan, for as long as he can remember.

“I’m a baseball guy,” Lord said. “I read about baseball. I play baseball. I coach baseball. I fan about baseball. I teach baseball.”

Lord started playing baseball as a child and continued his career at the collegiate level, playing his freshman year on St. Joe’s baseball team. He still plays infield and pitcher as part of the senior John DiBenedictis Baseball League.

Lord coached his now grown sons Sean Lord and Ryan Lord from tee-ball to American Legion Baseball, an amateur league for 13 to 19-year-olds. These days, Lord helps his son Sean Lord coach his grandsons Braxton and James.

“Baseball is an intergenerational thing,” Lord said. “It’s really cool that my son and I can rent an indoor baseball facility and take the grandsons. It’s three generations of Lords, throwing and hitting. It’s nice that a 7-year old will listen to his grandfather who is six years older and do what he says. He knows that I know what I’m talking about, so that’s really cool.”

It made sense for Lord to share his passion with his St. Joe’s family, too. In 2011, he first taught a course he created called The Business of Baseball.

In 2015, Lord retired from being a full-time professor at the university. He stayed on as a part-time instructor, though, teaching another course he created Baseball and American Culture for the first time in 2016.

Next year Lord will return to the marketing department as a full-time professor.

“I’m hoping to bring back The Business of Baseball course,” Lord said. “It’s a neat course and a popular course. It’s baseball. What could be bad?”

Kellie Barnes ’18 is currently enrolled in Baseball and American Culture. She said Lord’s passion for the sport is what make the course so enjoyable.

“Dr. Lord is great,” Barnes said. “He is so knowledgeable about baseball and is so passionate about it. He often brings stories into class about growing up and living through the history of baseball.”

Sabrina Schielein ’18 is also enrolled in the course.

“Dr. Lord is wonderful,” Schielein said. “You can tell how passionate he is for the subject, and it really transfers through to his class.”

Lord’s popular baseball courses have also created new outlets for him within the professional baseball community. Through the two courses, Lord had the opportunity to meet the former owner of the Philadelphia Phillies, Bill Giles.

“He came out to campus twice to speak and that started a relationship between him and me,” Lord said. “I like spending time with him.”

Lord even helped Giles write his memoir. “Bill Giles and Baseball” was published by Temple University Press in 2014.

“He sent me some chapters and that started this process,” Lord said. “I wrote the economics chapter and helped him with some stuff. We had the opportunity to just talk about some things, and it was just a fascinating experience.”

While Lord said he is not overly optimistic his Cubs will do well this year, he will always have that day in 2016 when his team came through for him.

After the Cubs won the World Series, Lord immediately booked a plane ticket to Chicago to attend the parade held for the team.

“It was incredible,” Lord said. “It was just a day of joy and celebration. It was just the best.”

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