NEW YORK (AP) - Former Texas Rangers president J. Thomas Schieffer was hired by Commissioner Bud Selig on Monday to run the Los Angeles Dodgers, less than a week after Major League Baseball took over operation of the franchise from owner Frank McCourt.
Schieffer was an investor in the ownership group headed by George W. Bush and Rusty Rose that purchased the Rangers in 1989. He was the club president from 1991-99 and the franchise’s general partner from November 1994 until June 1998.
In seizing control of the franchise, MLB told the Dodgers that any expenditure of $5,000 or more would have to be approved.
“Tom is a distinguished public servant who has represented the nation with excellence and has demonstrated extraordinary leadership throughout his career,” Selig said in a statement. “The many years that he spent managing the operations of a successful franchise will benefit the Dodgers and Major League Baseball as a whole.”
The Fort Worth native was the club’s partner in charge of ballpark development before the 1994 opening of the Rangers’ new stadium. The Rangers won their first three AL West titles in 1996 and 1998-99 during Schieffer’s tenure.
As the president of the Rangers, Schieffer was a member of several significant MLB committees and boards, including the 1999 Blue Ribbon Task Force on Baseball Economics. An attorney who specialized in oil and gas matters and investment management, the 63-year-old Schieffer served three terms as a Democrat in the Texas House of Representatives after being elected at the age of 25.
Schieffer served as the U.S. ambassador to Australia from 2001-05 and then as the ambassador to Japan from 2005-09 under President George W. Bush.
Once one of baseball’s most powerful franchises, the Dodgers have been in near constant turmoil since October 2009, when Jamie McCourt filed for divorce a week after husband Frank fired her as the team’s chief executive.
Selig told Frank McCourt last Wednesday he would appoint a MLB representative to oversee all aspects of the business and the day-to-day operations of the club.
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