VERO BEACH -- Ellen Harrigan's first day on the job with the Blue Jays in 1981 was a nerve-wracking one.
"When Elliott Wahle (then farm director) interviewed me, he told me I'd work in player development and for Peter Bavasi (president)," Harrigan said yesterday. "My first day was Peter's last."
Things worked out. Last week, Harrigan was named Los Angeles Dodgers' director of baseball administration by general manager Ned Coletti.
"When I started, the model franchise was the Dodgers," Harrigan said. "Pat Gillick used to say how he wanted to treat staff and players like the Dodgers. Here I am 27 years later working for the Dodgers."
The promotion for Harrigan, in her ninth year with the Dodgers and 27th in baseball, puts her into an exclusive club of a fewer than 10 women who have reached the level of director in baseball operations or higher in Major League Baseball.
Harrigan will negotiate contracts of 10 Dodgers.
"It's players with low service time, a way of breaking me in," Harrigan said. "That's negotiating contracts, but I've been building and writing contracts for 15 years."
Succeeding in a man's world was not without hassles. In 1988, a summer intern slapped Harrigan on her rear at Exhibition Stadium. Harrigan responded by pinning the insolent buck against a file cabinet.
After serving as GM at class-A St. Catharines from 1989-95, Harrigan joined Gillick in Baltimore in 1996 and in March of 1999 came with GM Kevin Malone to the Dodgers.