Bowling Green, KY- Bowling Green Pro Baseball, the future Single-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, today announced that Brad Taylor has been named the General Manager/Chief Executive Officer of the new South Atlantic League club. Taylor comes to Bowling Green Pro Baseball after spending nine seasons with the Double-A Trenton Thunder (New York Yankees) of the Eastern League, where he served as General Manager/Chief Operating Officer for the last three years. A start date in Bowling Green for Taylor is expected to be announced in the near future.
"It is with great enthusiasm that we welcome Brad Taylor to Bowling Green Professional Baseball," said DSF Sports Chairman and team owner Art Solomon. "Brad is one of the most knowledgeable and highly qualified general managers in all of Minor League Baseball, and we look forward to having him lead our staff heading into our inaugural season. His community-minded approach was an important component in setting him apart from other candidates we considered as part of our nationwide search."
"This move is not only exciting on a professional level, but on a personal level," said the President of DSF Sports Rick Brenner. "Brad is an incredibly talented individual with a successful track record. I consider him a close friend going back to our years together in Trenton. We look forward to having Brad lead the way as we bring our brand of affordable family entertainment to Bowling Green."
"I am totally energized and excited to begin this new venture in Bowling Green," said Taylor. "I think this has all the potential to be one of the truly great baseball and family destination markets in America. My wife and I are thrilled to return to the South, and it is even more special for us since she has family in Kentucky."
"The opportunity to build a team and stadium from the ground up has long been a dream of mine, and for me to be able to do this with Art Solomon and Rick Brenner is surely something special. Rick and I were fortunate enough to work together with one of the most respected and well-run teams in the business during our time together with the Thunder. Along with the people of Bowling Green and the entire region, we look forward to creating something just as special here. My family and I are looking forward to our move and getting the chance to meet everyone in the coming months."
Taylor, 40, joined the Thunder Front Office in 2000 as the Director of Business Operations and was promoted to Assistant General Manager the next year. As the GM/COO, he supervised the entire sales, marketing, operational, customer service and promotional efforts of the team. He also oversaw the baseball operations for the Thunder, who won their first Eastern League Championship in 2007.
During their time together with the Thunder, Taylor and Brenner helped the club receive national recognition with two awards from Minor League Baseball. Following the 2005 season, the Thunder was named the Johnson President's Trophy Winner, recognizing "Baseball's Best Franchise" among the 170 teams in affiliated baseball. The Thunder also won the Larry MacPhail Trophy for having the best promotions and community outreach in the nation in 2003.
The Thunder has helped the local community raise more than $3.2 million through its fundraising programs. Under Taylor's guidance the organization was recently honored with two prestigious awards. The Mercer County Regional Chamber of Commerce recognized the Thunder as the 2007 Distinguished Corporation of The Year. In the fall of 2007 the Thunder's commitment to its local community was highlighted as the Thunder received the Good Neighbor Award at the Trenton Renaissance Ball.
Taylor's contributions to the Trenton community included such things as being a member of the Mercer County Sports and Entertainment Commission Council, serving as a past advisory board member for the Trenton Waterfront 5K for Habitat For Humanity, being a former advisory board member for the Salvation Army and serving as a participant in the Minding Our Business program that teaches area middle school students how to start their own businesses.
Prior to joining the Thunder, Taylor worked for the Cape Fear Crocs (Fayetteville, NC), a Single-A affiliate of the Montreal Expos, from 1996 through 1999 and was their General Manager in 1998 and 1999. During the 1995 season, he made his first stop in Minor League Baseball, serving as Assistant General Manager for the River City Rumblers (Huntington, WV). In 1991, Taylor received a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from Randolph-Macon College (Ashland, VA), where he also played baseball for four years as a second baseman, serving as team co-captain his senior year.
Taylor, a native of Fairfax, VA, spends his time outside of baseball enjoying fatherhood, playing softball, golfing, fishing and rooting for the Washington Redskins. Brad and his wife Jennifer have two sons, Braxton and Parker.
In preparation for the inaugural 2009 season, Bowling Green Pro Baseball has begun accepting deposits on season tickets at www.BowlingGreenProBaseball.com. Deposits can be made for seating at $100 per seat. If deposits are made online, a team representative will call to confirm the order and will follow up with seat selection and full payment information at a later date.
The team's first season in a brand new state-of-the-art ballpark begins in April 2009.