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Jimmie Lee Solomon, Jr.  

The gist of this story would tell about a young man, Jimmie Lee Solomon who grows up in rural Texas. He was poor His father was a farmer and mother in the domestics department of K-Mart when she wasn’t cleaning the homes of other people. He actually att

Executive Vice President of Baseball Development

Major League Baseball

In June 2010, Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig appointed Jimmie Lee Solomon as Executive Vice President of Baseball Development for Major League Baseball, enabling Solomon to focus on MLB’s commitment to the development of strategic alliances and platforms which focus on the creation of a more diversified workforce, fan base and increased youth participation.  


In Baseball Development, Solomon will continue to cultivate many of the successful initiatives he created, such as the annual Civil Rights Game, the All-Star Futures Game and the ever-growing network of MLB Urban Youth Academies. He will also continue to oversee Minor League Operations along with the implementation of the MLB Showcase Initiative which, among others, includes the Urban Invitational, The Breakthrough Series and Baseball Bootcamps.


In his former role as Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations, Solomon oversaw Major League, Minor League and International Operations; Security and Facility Management; On-Field Discipline; Major League Umpires; the Major League Scouting Bureau; and the Arizona Fall League.  He also presided over special initiatives, such as the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy, and fostered key international player development relationships in Australia, Italy, China and Puerto Rico, as well as enriching our previously existing alliances in Latin America, Japan, Taiwan and Korea.  


Upon becoming Executive Vice President, Jimmie Lee Solomon has continually made his mark.  As a way to honor and pay tribute to the momentous contributions that African Americans have made both to society at-large and the game of baseball, Solomon established the Major League Baseball Civil Rights Game, which was first held in March 2007 and is now an annual event.   He was also instrumental in getting the MLB Player Draft aired live on television for the first time in June 2007 when it was telecast on ESPN2.   Continuing with MLB’s diversification efforts, in 2008 he created the Urban Invitational Baseball Tournament featuring Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Division I powerhouses. Each Urban Invitational game has been broadcast nationally.        


The Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy is perhaps the mission closest to Solomon’s heart.  Responsible for the conceptualization and raising of initial capital, Solomon considers the Academy a brick and mortar testament to Major League Baseball’s commitment to the urban community.  The initial Academy, opened in February 2006, launched what will prove to be a nationwide, and ultimately, international, network.  Adding to the flagship Academy in Compton, CA are academies in Houston and Puerto Rico, with facilities on the horizon in Philadelphia, New Orleans, Miami, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Orlando and Baltimore.  In just over four years, the Compton academy can already boast that more than twenty attendees have been drafted in the First-Year Player Draft.  The Academies host numerous clinics on not only the playing of baseball, but sports administration, journalism, photography, umpiring and groundskeeping, and serve as a site for numerous youth and collegiate tournaments throughout the year.   Formal Umpire Camps for those seriously interested in becoming professional umpires are also held annually.


Prior to being named Executive Vice President, Solomon was the Senior Vice President of Operations. In that capacity, he was responsible for the implementation and enforcement of the Major League Rules and other regulations, the review of game protests and Club-to-Club grievances, approval of contracts, facilities and ground rules, and presiding over special initiatives.  Solomon also held the post of Executive Director of Minor League Operations for Major League Baseball, which gave him authority over 17 Minor Leagues and their 171 member clubs.


Solomon’s ultimate goals in dealing with the Minor Leagues had always been to generate revenues and increase franchise values, while maintaining an efficient and rewarding player development environment.  Significant accomplishments included the implementation of a variety of Minor League health and safety-related programs, most notably, the Minor League Tobacco Policy, the On-Field Behavior Policy and the Minor League Facility Upgrade Program.  Additionally, in 1997 he negotiated an unprecedented 10-year, $170M agreement which revitalized the relationship between Major League Baseball and the Minor Leagues.  In the summer of 1999, he followed the creation of the previous fall’s Triple-A World Series with the All-Star Futures Game, a showcase for Minor League prospects developed and produced by Solomon, which was held for the first time at Fenway Park during Major League Baseball’s All-Star Week in Boston. Every All-Star Futures Games has been broadcast nationally on ESPN2.  


In 2005, he collaborated again with the Minor Leagues to replace the 1997 pact. The successor agreement provided Major League Baseball an economic benefit in excess of $200M over a 10-year period. In addition, he introduced negotiations with MLB Advanced Media, leading to MLBAM providing statistical and web services for Minor League Baseball and all their Leagues and Clubs.


    Prior to joining Major League Baseball, Solomon had been a partner with the Washington, DC office of the law firm, Baker & Hostetler.  During his ten years at Baker & Hostetler, he represented and provided counsel to numerous corporate and sports industry clients.  


    Mr. Solomon received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1981 and his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College in 1978.


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