According to the Orlando Sentinel, “Mark Gilbert, a prominent Democratic Party fundraiser from Boca Raton, may be on his way to New Zealand and Samoa” as U.S. ambassador.
If Gilbert’s name seems at all familiar, you’re an older baseball uber-fan: Gilbert appeared in seven games for the Chicago White Sox in 1985, batting .273 in 22 at bats. Here’s The Big Book of Jewish Baseball entry on Gilbert.
USA Today had a somewhat more sports-oriented story. In that one, Tony LaRussa, who was Gilbert’s manager that year was expressed his thoughts:
“Sure, I remember him,” La Russa told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “I was always taken with his intelligence and how he was committed to what we were trying to teach — to become a teammate, a competitor and to pursue excellence as a professional.”
“You do that and get a proper foundation and out of the bottom, out drops your fame and fortune. I think he’s now raised his excellence to a new level,” he said.
Told that ambassadors are often addressed as “His Excellency” or “Your Excellency,” La Russa chuckled.
“I think if Mark walks into a clubhouse with his old teammates, I don’t think they’re going to call him ‘Your Excellency,’” he said with a laugh.