USA Baseball names Bob Watson as general manager, professional baseball operations
08/04/2005 11:56 AM ET
MLB Press Release
USA Baseball has named Major League Baseball's Bob Watson to the newly-created position of General Manager, Professional Baseball Operations for the 2005-2008 quadrennium, USA Baseball President Mike Gaski announced today.
"We are thrilled to have a baseball man of Bob's caliber take on this very critical role for our organization," said Gaski. "His experience in the game and with helping select players for us in the past will only help as we continue to move forward with more professional players participating in major international baseball competitions."
Watson will oversee the selection of the USA Baseball professional coaching staffs and players through 2008 as well as the team's competitive preparations, including training and exhibition games.
During the 2005-2008 quadrennium, USA Baseball's professional teams are expected to compete in:
? 2005 IBAF World Cup in Rotterdam, Holland (Sept. 2-17)
? 2005 COPABE Olympic Regional Qualifying Tournament in San Salvador, El Salvador (November)
? 2006 World Baseball Classic in the United States (March 2006)
With a top-four finish in El Salvador this November, Team USA would advance to the 2006 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Havana, Cuba in August of 2006. In Cuba, the top two teams from that event earn automatic berths in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
"I am honored and thrilled to be given this opportunity to work with USA Baseball again," said Watson. "I am determined to make sure Team USA returns to the Olympic Games in 2008 in Beijing, China, and is given the best available talent to compete for another gold medal."
Watson currently holds the position of Vice President, On-Field Operations for the Commissioner's Office of Major League Baseball, a role he took over in February of 2002. Watson handles player discipline, time of game, uniform policy, stadium configuration and all other on-field matters.
Watson's previous experience with USA Baseball includes serving as Co-Chairman of the Steering Committees that selected the American players for the 2000 USA Baseball Olympic Gold Medal Team and the 1999 USA Baseball Pan Am Team that qualified the United States for the 2000 Olympic Games. In addition, he helped oversee the player selection process for the 2003 USA Baseball Olympic Qualifying Team.
Watson has spent nearly 42 years in professional baseball as a player, coach and executive. A two-time All-Star, Watson played 19 seasons in the Major Leagues for the Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves. After retiring in 1984, Watson worked for the Oakland Athletics as a roving hitting instructor (1985), hitting coach (1986-87) and bench coach (1988) before returning to the Astros as assistant general manager in November 1988. Watson became the first African-American with the title of general manager in Major League history when the Astros promoted him in 1993. He also worked in that capacity for the New York Yankees from 1995-97.
USA Baseball is the National Governing Body of amateur baseball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The organization selects and trains the USA Baseball Olympic Team, the USA Baseball National Team (Collegiate), the USA Baseball Junior National Team (18-under), and the USA Baseball Youth National Team (16-under) which participate in various international competitions each year. The USA Baseball headquarters are based in Durham, North Carolina with future training facilities in Cary, North Carolina.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.