President of Minor League Baseball Pat O’Connor will retire at the year’s end, per The Athletic’s Evan Drellich (via Twitter). O’Connor has served as President since 2007, while spending 24 years in total with the minor league baseball offices and 34 years in professional baseball.
Minor League Baseball released a statement, provided by JJ Cooper of Baseball America. The statement reads, in part: “During his presidency, O’Connor oversaw a period of unprecedented increase in revenues and franchise values as Minor League Baseball attracted over 40 million fans in each of the last 15 seasons (2005-19), and in 2008, Minor League Baseball drew over 43 million fans for the first time since 1901.”
The future of Minor League Baseball remains very much in the air after losing this season to the pandemic. Even before the pandemic, however, tensions were rising the between Major and Minor League Baseball offices. MiLB has resisted contraction, but instead of losing a couple of teams, the whole system is in danger of falling under the control of Major League Baseball. All of which led MiLB to change their negotiation team early in August. Of course, the team that was brought in was said to be more in line with O’Connor – as opposed to Minor League Baseball team owners – so O’Connor’s retirement could foretell the end of MiLB as presently constituted.