Why He’s Interesting: It’s a new day at Progressive Field, and Clevelanders have Brian Barren to thank for that. Over the past two years, Barren has helped lead Cleveland’s baseball team through a pandemic-shortened season and the changing of a 106-year-old nickname. A former college quarterback, Barren attended Princeton University and spent 24 years working at Proctor & Gamble before joining the Guardians in 2013 as the vice president of sales and marketing. In 2017, he transitioned to his current role as president of business operations.
He’s a Good Teammate … With so much changing over the past two years, Barren has made it his mission to be the best “teammate” he can be, whether it’s dealing with changing the name of a beloved Cleveland sports team or trying to figure out what next year’s promotional schedule will look like. “We’ve had to learn how to operate in a world with a lot more uncertainty,” he says. “I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by some tremendous teammates with a lot more expertise in some areas than I have.”
… And He’s Had Some Good Teammates: As a kid in Lakewood, New York, Barren played Little League baseball with Kansas City Royals president Dayton Moore before playing quarterback at Princeton, where he had shared a locker room with former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett and Toronto Blue Jays president (and former Cleveland baseball president) Mark Shapiro. “I’ve been surrounding by some great people in all different facets of life, and it’s been incredible to learn from them,” he says.
Garrett Gave Him Advice: During Barren’s sophomore year on Princeton University’s football team, Garrett transferred back to Princeton’s team, where he was required to sit out a full two years. Despite being better than all of the other quarterbacks on the roster, Garrett spent every practice helping and teaching Barren and the other signal-callers, something that’s stuck with Barren throughout his whole professional life. “He spent a lot of time teaching and coaching us,” Barren says. “He looked at it as he was making us better.”