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Brother Derrick Hall’s (Arizona State) journey from LA Dodgers intern to CEO for the Arizona Diamondbacks and how he strives to lead a life of service and purpose.

Derrick Hall (Arizona State) lives by the principle “if you truly love what you are doing, you will never work a day in your life.”

And over his 30-year career in sports media and public relations, and currently, as chief executive officer for the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball organization, Hall is living that life.

“In my opinion, I have not actually worked in the last 30 years,” laughs Hall.

He grew up in Southern California, where he shared his father’s love of baseball-- although from opposite sides of the league. His dad and brother were Angels fans, while Hall cheered on the Dodgers.

“I would listen to or watch every game,” Hall recalls. ”And had my parents take me to Dodger Stadium as often as they could afford to do.”

From an early age, he set his sights on working for the Dodgers. That focus and tenacity paid off. After earning a degree in journalism and broadcasting from Arizona State University, Hall joined the Dodgers as an intern with the single-A team in Florida. He rose quickly through the Dodger organization over the next 12 years to become Senior Vice President of Communications.

“It was remarkable that my dream became a reality, and I was honored to have worked for and with the [Peter] O’Malley family,” Hall said.

After his time with the Dodgers, Hall took a break from baseball to host a morning talk show in Los Angeles on the Dodgers’ flagship station (XTRA 1150 AM), as well as the “Dodger Game Day” pregame radio show for home games. He also worked as a weekend sports anchor at KNBC-TV in Los Angeles.

But after a year, he returned to major league baseball, joining the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2005 as Senior Vice President of Communications. A year later, he was named President of the organization, adding the title of Chief Executive Officer in 2009.

Hall cites his strengths in communication, media, and public relations as the skill set that helped him expand his leadership roles.

“It was a natural transition,” Hall explains. “The communication role is one of just a few roles that has constant crossover and interaction with both the business and baseball operations sides.”

Additionally, his “real life” experience in media gave him a better understanding of the approach and mentality needed when he was on the other side of the microphone.

Giving All and Giving Back

Joining the Diamondbacks organization allowed Hall to return to the state he loved.

“Having gone to school at Arizona State University and thoroughly enjoying my time there, I always had a desire to get back to Arizona one day,” Hall said, noting it was also where he met his wife, Amy, who is from Tucson.

Early in his baseball career, the opportunity to return to Arizona was not an option since the Diamondbacks were not a major league franchise until 1998.

“Once they came into existence, I told my wife we needed to find a way to transition [to Arizona] again and make it home,” said Hall, who found that path seven years later.

His focus with the Diamondbacks is both winning on the field and making an impact off the field as well. Hall recognizes the team as a community asset committed to being socially responsible.

“We know we cannot win every season, but we can always act as contributing members of the community to make our fans proud,” Hall said. “Personally, I believe there is nothing more rewarding.”

Although he sits atop the organizational chart, Hall leads with a servant’s heart. Giving back to others is a driving force in his life and an attribute that began years ago.

He recounts a story of Peter O’Malley, the Dodgers owner, who approached him in his early career as an intern. The franchise was amidst a company-wide campaign to raise money, and Mr. O’Malley mentioned Hall’s name was not on the list of employees who had contributed.

He told Mr. O’Malley, “I don’t make that much,” and without missing a beat, Mr. O’Malley responded, “then don’t give that much.”

“I have never forgotten that powerful response,” Hall said of that exchange many years ago. “We all need to just give something, be it time, or money or resources, and play a part in the bettering of lives.”

The Diamondbacks Foundation has become one of the largest philanthropic entities in the Phoenix metropolitan area, surpassing the $75 million mark in charitable giving since its founding in 1998. One of the Foundation’s flagship programs is the D-backs Give Back Youth Jersey Program, which outfits over 65,000 youth baseball and softball players with high-quality jerseys and caps at no cost.

Among the many organizations that Hall supports, both professionally and personally, his favorite is the Make-a-Wish foundation which provides care for children with life-threatening conditions.

He served as chairman of the Arizona chapter for years and is the newly-elected chair of the national board.

“There is nothing more rewarding than granting a wish to an eligible child and their family,” said Hall, who has three adult children. “The wishes and all stories associated are extremely emotional…and it is an incredible [organization] full of very generous individuals.”

Inside the “house,” Hall focuses on creating a positive culture within the Diamondbacks organization. His efforts were recognized by Yahoo! And Forbes magazine, which named the club one of the “Best Places to Work in Sports” and is often cited as one of Arizona’s “Best Places to Work.”

Hall launched his own charitable organization in 2014 after successfully battling prostate cancer. The Derrick Hall Pro-State Foundation is dedicated to helping those diagnosed with prostate cancer navigate through the challenges and choices they face and how they can maintain a positive outlook.

Continued Connection to Sigma Nu Fraternity

As a freshman at Arizona State, Hall said Sigma Nu was the only house he rushed and the only house he would have joined. He was drawn to the Fraternity’s reputation and wanted to be a part of continuing the focus on Love, Honor, and Truth.

“I was fortunate enough to hold leadership positions,” said Hall, who served as president of his pledge class and Eminent Commander of the chapter. “And the lifelong friendships stand out as some of my greatest memories.”

He cites one memory that stands out among all others in Sigma Nu.

“I will never forget being [initiated] in front of all participants at Grand Chapter, which was being held at the [Fairmont Scottsdale Princess] in Scottsdale, Arizona that year,” Hall recalls. “I still get chills today thinking about it.”

He remains in close contact with his pledge brothers –several were in his wedding—and noted a reunion in Summer 2022 for a luncheon and baseball game drew nearly the entire class from across the country.

“During the pandemic, we would get dozens of brothers from many different pledge classes on Zoom calls to catch up during virtual happy hours,” Halls said. “We may have gotten older, but we are all still the same.”

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