Why I Chose My Agency: Ted Lilly

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ted Lilly has been with agent Larry O'Brien since before he broke into the big leagues with the Montreal Expos in 1999. O'Brien formed Full Circle Sports Management a few years ago. Lilly recently spoke with MLBTR about his relationship with his longtime agent

“I had some representation when I signed and just kind of got into it and it wasn’t the right fit for me. This was at the end of 1996 and I wasn’t really looking for an agent but I agreed to meet with Larry with really no intention of getting an agent. I didn’t feel that I really needed one and I wasn’t in the middle of anything. It was after my first year of pro ball and I wasn’t in the middle of any negotiations, but after talking to him and getting to know him, I didn’t make any commitments but just felt more and more comfortable with his genuine personality. I felt like his motives were in the right place, and it still is the same today. It’s not about the money. A lot of guys I’m sure say that but knowing Larry for as long as I have, when I say it’s still the same, it’s still the same that it really isn’t about the money. He really enjoys helping young guys out. 

“I kind of thought I was going to get the Jerry Maguire deal which was what I got with the majority of guys I ran across. Style is one thing but for me, it takes a back seat to substance and that’s what Larry is about. What you see is what you get. It’s all real. He’s very bright and he’s helped me out in a lot of different ways. Certainly with my baseball career but some of the other things that go on outside that. He has a ton of experience in real estate and he’s helped me with some investments over the years too. 

“When we met he wasn’t pursuing any clients at the time. He just wasn’t actively pursuing it. He had represented some guys before and done some negotiations but I think he was also successful in the commercial real estate industry and he represented players because he liked it. He had made a good living in his other business and understood the art of negotiations and dealing with people so he wanted to continue to do this to some degree and now he’s partnered up with a couple guys and they’ve turned it into a full-fledged group and they are doing well now. He’s brought in Kurt Varricchio who has some experience in representation himself and Barton Cerioni who has some negotiating experience in the law field so I think he’s put together a good team and group of guys that can help their clients on the field and whatever else they need. 

“He’s definitely more than just my agent. He’s a good friend. He’s a very bright guy so as far as investments and making good choices, certainly in real estate and some other endeavors he’s done well. I think maybe because he’s Irish and he gets a little lucky too. 

“I think it goes back to honesty and loyalty. I have told him this before and it’s a good thing, but he never turns anyone down. He’s never let any kids go. He’s loyal and sometimes being in the business, you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings but maybe it’s not the right situation, but it’s hard for him to do that. It might not always be best for the business, but you know he’s going to stick with you no matter what. To the end, whichever direction your career may go, Larry will be there. I think from what I’ve seen and having to be in professional baseball for 17 years, that’s pretty unusual really. In the industry you don’t see that. I’m sure the big agencies do a good job but having a number of friends that have gone that route, when their career is no longer as promising as it once was, they get forgotten about very quickly. Not with Larry. He’s done a great job.”

 



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