The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has finally found its new president—and it had to go all the way out to the Grand Canyon State to find him. Josh Rawitch, who has served for nearly a decade as the senior vice president of content and communications for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and previously spent more than 12 years in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, will assume the role of president on September 9, just a day after the Hall’s 2020-21 induction ceremony.
Former Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson, who stepped in on an interim basis this past May, following the departure of previous president Tim Mead, will finish out his role this summer.
The 44-year-old Rawitch becomes just the eighth president in the Hall’s 82-year history.
“On behalf of our Board of Directors, I am delighted to welcome Josh as the Hall of Fame’s next President, and to welcome him and his family to Cooperstown,” says Jane Forbes Clark, chairwoman of the Hall’s board of directors. “Josh brings to the Hall of Fame a wealth of expertise from his many years representing the game as a respected baseball executive. We are very much looking forward to his Presidency at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.”
In his most recent role with the D-backs, Rawitch has overseen player and media relations, corporate communications, broadcasting, content production, social media, creative services, in-game entertainment, spring training business operations, team archives, alumni relations, publications and photography.
A native of Los Angeles, Rawitch joined the Dodgers’ staff in ’95 and spent parts of five seasons in the team’s marketing department before shifting to public relations. He left the organization to serve as a beat reporter for MLB Advanced Media from 2001-02, after which he returned to the Dodgers, eventually rising to the position of vice president of communications.
“I am truly honored to join the team at the Hall of Fame, a revered institution that is fundamental to the preservation of the history of our game and its legends,” says Rawitch. “Cooperstown is a special place and every baseball fan who has set foot in the village knows how powerful that experience can be, while those who haven’t visited undoubtedly have it on their bucket list. My family is looking forward to being a part of the community for many years to come.” He added: “I am also humbled by the trust placed in me by Jane Forbes Clark to help carry out a vision established more than 80 years ago, and I am proud to follow in the footsteps of two great friends in Jeff Idelson and Tim Mead. I will forever be thankful for the support of Ken Kendrick, Derrick Hall and everyone at the D-backs who have made the last decade unforgettable both personally and professionally.”
In 2018, Rawitch received the prestigious Robert O. Fishel Award for Public Relations Excellence, given annually to an industry executive who excels in promoting the game. Fluent in Spanish, he has also overseen baseball media relations efforts throughout the world, including in Mexico, China, Taiwan, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the Dominican Republic, and has also served as a venue press chief at three iterations of the World Baseball Classic, most recently in South Korea. Over an eight-year period through 2019, Rawitch helped organize fundraising auctions during MLB’s Winter Meetings that have raised more than $1.6 million for various charitable causes.
Rawitch attended Indiana University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Sports Marketing and Management with a minor in Business. During his time with the D-backs, he taught Strategic Sports Communications at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
In the Phoenix community, Rawitch has served on the board of directors for the Greater Phoenix Chamber, the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Arizona-Mexico Commission and the Phoenix Sister Cities Commission, while also sitting on the Arizona State University’s Sports Business Advisory Board. He and his wife, Erin, are the parents of two children, Emily and Braden.
A presidential search committee that included the Hall’s Forbes Clark, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, Dr. Harvey Schiller (former CEO of YankeeNets) and Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr., had been on the lookout for a new president since April 16, when Mead announced his departure from the organization.