The Boys’ Club of New York has been building leadership skills in boys and young men since its founding in 1876. Alumni have gone on to achieve wide-ranging success—from renowned film producers and business executives to musicians, entertainers, and sports figures.
In this Alumni Spotlight, we feature Thomas C. Brasuell, who recently retired from the Major League Baseball (MLB), where he was President of Major League Baseball Charities and Vice President of Community Affairs, responsible for MLB’s central office community affairs initiatives.
Before finding his way to a career in baseball, Brasuell worked in public service and was Chief of Staff to legendary New York City Councilwoman Miriam Friedlander, who represented NYC’s Lower East Side, Chinatown, SoHo, Little Italy, the Civic Center, and the Financial district from 1974-1991. Brasuell directed constituent services and also directed youth services for the New York City Department of Youth Services.
We talked recently with Brasuell, who shared what it was like to be part of the Boys’ Club, where he was an active member and peer counselor to other club youth.
When—and why—did you join the Boys’ Club of New York?
I was the youngest of six children and my four brothers before me had all gone to the Club. My parents knew BCNY provided quality programs, a safe place, dedicated staff, and opportunities. I remember going to Awards Night when I was six and seeing my brothers called to the stage and I couldn’t wait to join. I joined shortly after. By age eight I was going to the Club pretty much every day, initially primarily for the Drama Department.
How did it make a difference in your life?
Most of what I have achieved in my life is a direct or indirect result of things I learned, experiences I had, or people I met through the Boys’ Club. Thanks to the Boys’ Club Educational Program, I was fortunate enough to get a scholarship to attend Grace Church School, one of the top private schools in New York City.
Why is it important for you to stay connected to the Boys’ Club today?
I want to make sure that today’s members and their parents know what an important place the Club was and can continue to be with their support.
If you could sum up your Boys’ Club experience in just a few words, how would you describe it?
The Club taught me how to compete; fair play; to win with class; to lose with good sportsmanship; to work with others; to have fun; and to work hard–all life lessons that still serve me well today.
You recently retired as VP, Community Affairs, at Major League Baseball. What’s next for you?
In addition to my BCNY connection, MLB gave me the opportunity to work with many great organizations connected to legendary baseball players, including the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the Roberto Clemente Foundation, and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. I remain connected to them as well as to other great organizations like Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and am committed to helping them serve young people.