For the Love of the Game: Teammate’s Passion for Sports Lives on and off the Field

Written by Hilary Totin
May 14, 2024 9:30 AM ET

Originally published on DICK'S Sporting Goods Sideline Report

From working as a part-time teammate to being the community and experience director at DICK’S House of Sport in Katy, Texas. Former Minor League Baseball player Ruperto Rojas called his journey with DICK’S Sporting Goods an incredible ride.

Rojas was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2017 MLB June Amateur Draft. That same year, he started working as a part-time operations associate at DICK’S Sporting Goods near his home in Lakewood, Colorado.

“My wife told me I had to go out and make a little extra money during the offseason,” Rojas said. “There was a DICK’S right across the street, so I went over and applied.”

He immediately hit it off with Store Manager John Varner. “He became my mentor, and he continues to impact me to this day,” said Rojas.

Rojas worked at DICK’S every offseason. When his playing days ended in 2021, Rojas said Varner encouraged him to stick with it.

“Working with him, you could just see his passion for both his teammates and the athletes,” said Varner.

Rojas discovered he had a real passion for helping athletes chase their dreams, and likened working for DICK’S to playing baseball. “It’s all about the team,” Rojas said.

Within a year and a half, Rojas worked his way up from part-time operations associate to store manager. Then in April 2023, Rojas got the chance to move back to his hometown of Houston. He was offered the role of community and experience director at the DICK’S House of Sport in nearby Katy.

“He leads people the way he would like to be led,” Varner said of Rojas. “He is a true people first leader who has the common purpose at the center of what he does every day.”

As community and experience director, Rojas is responsible for integrating DICK’S House of Sport into the community and overseeing internal and external events. He also works to develop and maintain partnerships in the community.

“This role allowed me to combine my two passions: giving back to the community and sports,” Rojas said.

A few years ago, Rojas said when he thought about what he’d do with his life, retail was never in the picture. “Now?” Rojas said, “I can’t see a future without DICK’S Sporting Goods.”

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