The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, named veteran baseball executive Tim Mead as its new president to succeed the outgoing Jeff Idelson.
Mead, 61, has worked for nearly four decades for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, starting as an intern and spending the last 22 years as the team’s as vice president of communications. Relocating the U.S. East Coast, Mead will become the Hall’s seventh president in its 80-year history and lead operations for the revered institution.
His appointment arrives after being targeted for the role by Hall of Fame Chair Jane Forbes Clark and Idelson.
“It’s an opportunity that you had to jump on,” Mead said last night prior to the Angels’ game against Toronto. “To have the chance to be a caretaker of the game, the milestones and the memories, and work with greatness that have already accomplished the things they’ve accomplished and be around them I think is a privilege and an honor.”
The arrival of Mead also arrives as a particular inflection point for the Hall. Despite stagnant annual attendance, the baseball shrine has been buoyed in recent years by historically robust induction classes, including one this summer that will be led by former New York Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera, the first unanimous selection in the Baseball Writers Association of America ballot for the Hall. The Hall’s 2017 tax return, the most recent available, showed record levels of both revenue and profit, fueled in part by two major seven-figure donations.
“Since joining the Angels in 1980, Tim’s love of the game, his dedication to our organization along with his extraordinary work ethic, have been invaluable,” Angels owner Arte Moreno said in a statement. “He is the perfect fit to represent the Hall of Fame’s rich history and bright future.”
Idelson, meanwhile, will formally depart the Hall after induction ceremonies in July, concluding a 25-year stint with the institution, including the last 11 years as president. Idelson, who announced his retirement from the Hall in February, is teaming with acclaimed baseball photographer Jean Fruth to create Grassroots Baseball, a development program aimed at promoting the amateur level of the sport around the world. The pair will be traveling around the U.S. beginning today, making numerous stops to deliver instruction and baseball equipment to youth, and will be joined by several Hall of Fame players along the way.