The Blue Jays announced today that long-time executive Paul Beeston has been named president emeritus of the organization, a designation that he’ll hold “in perpetuity.” Formerly the organization’s president and CEO, Beeston announced his retirement in the fall of 2015.
Beeston’s successor, Mark Shapiro, said that the honorary title was given to honor Beeston’s “incomparable” contributions. “This is simply a small token of recognition for the nearly four decades he’s given the game,” Shapiro said in the press release. “We felt it was right to honour the legacy he has built and ensure he’s a part of the future successes of this team.”
Meanwhile, the new top exec received plaudits from his predecessor. “Over the past year I have had a front row seat to observe Mark Shapiro’s innovative thinking, his professionalism and his commitment to winning and bringing a championship to Toronto,” Beeston commented in the release.
Beeston also noted his gratitude at today’s gesture. “I am fortunate to once again be welcomed back into this great organization,” he said. “To have a small role moving forward is something that I sincerely appreciate.”
It seems only fitting that Beeston will remain president emeritus for as long as the organization exists. He is, after all, its first employee. After entering the fold as vice president of administration back in 1976, Beeston oversaw the Jays as president & CEO for two separate stints — 1989 to 1997 and 2008 to 2015. The former period included the team’s memorable 1992 and 1993 World Series teams, while the latter was capped off last year with the Jays’ first return to the postseason since its back-to-back championships.