From Joe: I have two press releases about this. The first one was mailed directly from the Texas Rangers, and the second is an AP News Wire story..
Texas Rangers President Tom Schieffer announced today that he has decided to step down from that position to concentrate on several areas in a role as consultant to the team.
Schieffer’s primary responsibilities will be working to put together a development plan for the real estate around The Ballpark in Arlington. He will also be involved in the formation of a future plan for the Rangers’ spring training situation, the enhancement of the club’s player development facilities in Latin America, and will continue to coordinate activities surrounding the Hall of Fame induction of Nolan Ryan in July.
The move is expected to be effective in the next few weeks. In his new role, Schieffer will be working from the Morris and Schieffer law offices, which are located in the office building at The Ballpark in Arlington.
“In helping to build the Texas Rangers franchise and The Ballpark in Arlington, I have come to understand that what I like to do in life is build things,” commented Schieffer.
“Over the past few months, I have begun to think about the possibility of building other things, either a company or quite literally more buildings.
“In February I shared those thoughts with Tom Hicks. I told him that I would like to think about stepping back from the day to day operations of the baseball team. I also told him that I would be happy to stay involved in some way with the development of the real estate around the ballpark.
“Over the last couple of months, we have talked about how that can be accomplished. Last week we agreed on a plan.”
Schieffer, 51, is in his eleventh season with the Rangers. An original investor in the ownership group headed by George W. Bush and Rusty Rose that bought the team in April, 1989, he was named as the Partner-In-Charge of Ballpark Development on July 26, 1990 and was appointed as team President on January 31, 1991. Schieffer became a General Partner in the franchise with Bush’s election as Governor of Texas in November, 1994.
When Thomas O. Hicks purchased the Rangers in June, 1998, he asked Schieffer to stay on as President.
“Tom has accomplished a lot of firsts with this ballclub, so I have mixed emotions about his personal desire to depart from the day-to-day operations,” stated Hicks, the Rangers Chairman of the Board and Owner. “Under his leadership, he has taken the Texas Rangers to a new level of excellence and achievement.
“There is a lot of unfinished business concerning the development of the land around The Ballpark, improving our spring training facilities, and the club’s facilities in the Dominican Republic and throughout Latin America. Tom will be a great asset in completing these projects and has graciously agreed to focus his energies on these areas.”
Schieffer was instrumental in the design and construction of The Ballpark in Arlington. The Rangers and the City of Arlington announced plans for the building of The Ballpark in October, 1990. Built on time and on budget, The Ballpark in Arlington opened in April, 1994 and is regarded as one of the finest facilities in professional sports.
During his tenure as President, the longest in franchise history, the Rangers have drawn more than two million fans seven times in eight seasons, hosted the 1995 All-Star Game, and advanced to post-season for the first time in franchise history, with American League Western Division titles in 1996 and 1998. He has overseen the franchise grow from less than 50 fulltime employees to a company with nearly 200 employees.
“Baseball has been a source of inspiration and pride for me,” explained Schieffer. “I am proud of the organization that we have built here in Texas. It has the kind of values that both employees and fans can be proud of. It has been a great ten years.”
No announcement was made about a possible successor. Hicks said Rangers Executive Vice President-General Manager Doug Melvin will be reporting directly to ownership, just as he had under the previous ownership group.
“In the transition period, we will continue to discuss ways to merge the synergies of two great organizations: the Texas Rangers and the Dallas Stars,” said Hicks. “It is the next step in the future of these winning teams.”
ARLINGTON, Texas (Ticker)– Tom Schieffer will announce Thursday that he is stepping down as president of the Texas Rangers, club spokesman John Blake said.
Schieffer, 51, who has held the post since January 1991, will remain as a consultant for the club to help develop real estate around The Ballpark in Arlington, the Rangers’ home field, Blake said.
A Fort Worth oil and gas lawyer who served three terms in the Texas House of Representatives, Schieffer has spent 11 years with the Rangers. He was an original investor in the ownership group headed by Gov. George W. Bush and Rusty Rose that bought the team in 1989.
When Schieffer became club president, he declined to promise a pennant-winner every year, but said, “I think we can guarantee that the nachos are fresh, that the restrooms are clean and that the beer is cold.”
After Bush was elected governor in November 1994, Schieffer succeeded him as the team’s general partner.
Schieffer went on to spearhead the team’s drive for a new stadium, The Ballpark in Arlington, which opened in 1994 to rave reviews for its old-fashioned appearance.
The club, which moved from Washington, D.C., to Texas for the 1972 season, suffered through many mediocre seasons before finally reaching the playoffs in 1996 and again last year. But in both years, the Rangers lost postseason series to the New York Yankees.
Critics have noted that attendance at the stadium in suburban Arlington – more than 32,000 fans per game this year – has trailed that of other retro-looking stadiums in downtown settings, including those in Baltimore, Cleveland and Denver.
The difference means less revenue for the club, which signed All Star catcher Ivan Rodriguez to a $42 million contract in 1997, spent $63 million more last offseason to sign first baseman Rafael Palmeiro and shortstop Royce Clayton, and is now trying to re-sign outfielder Juan Gonzalez. In the offseason, the team failed in efforts to sign star pitchers Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson.
Still, Schieffer said recently, building the stadium gave the Rangers an advantage over other teams, which were trying to catch up to Texas.
Now the Rangers are trying to develop the land around The Ballpark to create more of a downtown ambiance. Schieffer said recently he hopes that in 10 to 15 years, the area around the stadium will resemble a downtown the size of Fort Worth.
Schieffer said the team lost $3.5 million last season despite drawing 2.9 million fans because of a $62 million payroll.
Despite raising ticket prices, the Rangers could finish this season $14.6 million in the red for new owner Tom Hicks, Schieffer said.