DALLAS–There was more humor than drama during Minor League Baseball’s presidential election, as Pat O’Conner was unanimously elected to a second four-year term by the sport’s league presidents.
O’Conner, who was running unopposed as the Board of Trustees lone candidate, received dramatic votes of confidence during the roll call from Eastern League president Joe McEacharn, Pioneer League president Jim McCurdy and Texas League president Tom Kayser. “The greatest league in all of minor league baseball votes for Pat O’Conner,” Kayser bellowed.
In the end, O’Conner received a standing ovation before thanking everyone in attendance for their “confidence in my ability to advance this organization.”
Just nine months ago, O’Conner was uncertain if he had the energy and desire to take on a second term. But after working out some professional differences with the Board of Trustees–Minor League Baseball’s chief governing body made up of 17 members–O’Conner is eager to continue guiding a sport that he believes is well positioned to continue growing.
“I wasn’t going to do this halfway,” O’Conner said today after the election. “It was a good decision for me to run again. Since that time, the sport has done well. We had a really good summer and accomplished a lot.”
O’Conner highlights the extension of the Professional Baseball Agreement with Major League Baseball and the new working agreement with minor league umpires as examples of the minor league’s current state of stability. Extending the minors partnership with Major League Baseball Advanced Media, and further growing the sport’s involvement in charitable and diversity-oriented endeavors are among his goals for the future.
While Minor League Baseball’s president remains the same, the sport is without an executive vice president after Tim Purpura accepted a position as farm director with the Texas Rangers. Purpura had spent four years as MILB’s chief operating officer after previously serving as the Houston Astros’ general manager.
O’Conner said he will not immediately seek a replacement for Purpura but will instead spread out his duties among four MILB vice presidents: Tim Brunswick (baseball/business operations), Tina Gust (business development), David Nunes (finance) and D. Scott Poley.