By Ray Artigue
If ever there was a question about what Graham Rossini was destined to do in his professional life, it didn’t come from anyone who knew him.
At the age of four, he started playing tee-ball – and he has been in and around the game that we call “America’s Pastime” ever since.
Though born in New Jersey, Rossini and his younger brother were raised in Mobile, Ala., under their selfless and dedicated parents’ watchful eye.
“My most treasured memories from Mobile are from the neighborhood where I grew up. It reminds me a lot of Arcadia because of the sense of community – lots of families with kids playing out front, pool parties in the back and everyone cherishing their time together,” Rossini remembers fondly.
He says that there was still a sense of competitiveness in the games that were waged through all the playfulness, and that’s where he learned to compete – and to excel.
“I’ve always applied myself, working to achieve a high standard in anything I do,” said Rossini. “I like to think that I’m someone who brings value and enrichment to those around me.”
The 40-year-old’s hard work and dedication is evident in his achievements in school and at the office. Graham graduated cum laude from ASU’s School of Business with an undergraduate degree and an MBA. While there, he was a member of the baseball team and also met his wife, Alison. She, too, was a student athlete.
Today, they both work for the Arizona Diamondbacks, where Graham serves as vice president of special projects and fan experience, and Alison works in corporate partnerships.
Rossini’s duties with the franchise have him involved in various programs and projects, including acting as a liaison for all Major League Baseball special events and various international activities. He was instrumental in the development of Salt River Fields at Talking Stick and bringing the 2011 All-Star Game to Chase Field. Currently, he is working to bring the D-backs’ new training academy online to the Dominican Republic.
“Working in baseball has provided more than I could have ever dreamed of. Baseball was also why I attended ASU, but the association has grown far beyond that,” the proud Sun Devil said. “I’ve maintained an association [with ASU] since day one; as a student, an employee (director of baseball operations after graduating) and now as a board member of the Alumni Association.”
Rossini says one of his proudest accomplishments was the co-creation of the D-backs’ Youth Jersey Program, which has outfitted 120 Little League teams throughout the Valley with more than 70,000 free jerseys and caps.
But all Graham’s pride in that program and other achievements pales with his pride in becoming a father. He and Alison have a 19-month-old son, Rhett.
“The moment we found out Alison was pregnant, we set our sights on moving into Arcadia,” Graham said. “It’s the ideal place to grow our family and other families in what is a true sense of community.”
And it’s probably just a matter of time before “Coach Rossini” organizes the neighborhood’s first tee-ball game.