Epstein comes from a family of great writers. His grandfather and great uncle co-wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay to Casablanca, one of the greatest films ever made. His father is a novelist and heads the creative writing program at Boston University. His sister is a television writer, and has penned episodes for Homicide: Life on the StreetIn Treatment, and The Affair.

But Epstein’s destiny led him down a different path. After graduating from Yale, he landed a public relations job with the Baltimore Orioles. He leveraged that into a job with the San Diego Padres, while simultaneously earning a law degree. He became the team’s director of baseball operations and then followed team president Larry Lucchino to Boston. The rest, as they say, is now history.

General managers, today, look and act more like mathematicians or bankers than former ballplayers. Epstein’s success with the Red Sox helped usher in a new era of baseball management, one steeped in data. Epstein made a name for himself by making bold decisions (like trading Red Sox fan favorite Nomar Garciaparra) and identifying young talent that no one else could.

His analytical methods were unconventional at the time—he hired Terry Francona, a manager who led the Philadelphia Phillies to four straight losing seasons, to turn around the Red Sox’s fortunes. Francona, now the manager of the Indians, is one of the best coaches in baseball.

Epstein approached baseball more like a business than a game, hoping to suss out which players added value to his operation and which didn’t. Some have argued that philosophy has taken the fun out of sports, but try telling that to Red Sox or Cubs fans.

Of course, Epstein didn’t break either curse alone. He would agree that most of the credit should go to the actual players—the Anthony Rizzos, the Kyle Hendrickses, the Kris Bryants, the Jon Lesters—who performed at championship caliber on the field (along with manager Joe Maddon). But Epstein was the one who signed these men, scouted them, traded for them, hired them. The Chicago Cubs are his tapestry, and the 2016 World Series his greatest work of art yet.

It’s tough to grasp just how good at building baseball teams Epstein really is. Most in his field would be lucky to make it to just one world series in their careers. Epstein has made it to—and won—three, and all before he turned 43. The closest comparison in business might be Steve Jobs, whose singular vision for Apple turned the teetering company into a global superpower.

Epstein is in tune with the game of baseball on a level we may never truly understand. Perhaps he doesn’t really understand it either. Imagine being the savior of not one, but two sports franchises. Imagine ending 194 years worth of fans’ suffering. Imagine reaching the absolute pinnacle of your profession eight years before you qualify for AARP.

What Epstein does understand, though, is what it means to carry the weight of millions of people’s hopes and dreams on your shoulders. And he understands that sometimes, a man deserves a drink.

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.