Pillar of Achievement - 2006
Joel Rubenstein played major roles in events and organizations that made and will make an impact on untold numbers of lives for years to come.
As a key member of Peter Ueberroth’s Olympic Organizing Committee for the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles, Rubenstein was instrumental in attracting the Games' initial major corporate sponsorships, was the LAOOC chief of protocol, and served on the inner circle of leadership that ensured the success of the '84 Olympics.
Rubenstein followed Ueberroth into the baseball commissioner’s office in October 1984 as his executive vice president for marketing and corporate sponsorships.
It was at MLB (Major League Baseball) that Rubenstein made what might be his longest-lasting impression in helping to create the Baseball Assistance Team (BAT). Since its establishment in 1986, BAT has helped support more than 1,700 individuals and families by providing more than $11 million in grants. Those who are eligible for assistance include former Major League players, Negro League players, minor league players, umpires, scouts, front office personnel, as well as widows and children of those individuals.
The University of Maryland alum was also active in Big Brothers, and that organization continues to honor his memory by giving the annual “Hands That Helped Build” BBBSOC award – which is named for him, and the statue is a replica of Joel’s image. Among his many other involvements was a longtime board member position for the Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel.
“I’ve never known a more creative thinker and problem solver, with a bigger heart for looking out for others,” Ueberroth said of Rubenstein.
When Ueberroth left baseball in 1989, Rubenstein became a partner of Ueberroth’s investment and management company, Contrarian Group, Inc. Rubenstein passed away on February 1, 2004 – just five days after being honored in New York for his contributions to BAT.