The end of an era: Anthony “Tex” Simone has retired as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Syracuse Chiefs (Class AAA; International League), but will stay on as vice president emeritus and team consultant.
He will also retain his position as vice president of the International League and maintain an office at NBT Bank Stadium.
“As a Syracuse native, my love for this community and the ball club has never wavered,” Tex Simone said. “I look forward to my continued association with the Chiefs and my role within the International League.”
Simone has been a member of the Syracuse Chiefs ballclub since 1961. He began his career working with the grounds crew and, the same season, advanced within the organization to become trainer and traveling secretary. In 1967, Simone served as the Chiefs’ business manager and public relations director. In 1970, he was named general manager, a position he held until 1997 when he was succeeded by his son, John. Since that time, Tex has served as the club’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.
“The name Tex Simone is synonymous with both baseball and Syracuse, and is held in the highest esteem throughout professional baseball circles. He has represented his hometown proudly and has worked tirelessly to better the community,” said Chiefs President Bill Dutch. “We are grateful that he has always had the passion for keeping Triple-A baseball alive and well in Syracuse all these years.”
Simone was the driving force behind the construction of the stadium facility now known as NBT Bank Stadium.
“My father has been successful because of his incredible work ethic and dedication to the baseball fans of CNY,” said Chiefs General Manager John Simone. “Dad’s many awards and achievements are second to his absolute devotion to the Syracuse community.”
Tex Simone has served as vice president of the International League since 1998, and has been enshrined in the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame (1989), the Syracuse Baseball Wall of Fame (2001), the International League Hall of Fame (2008), the LeMoyne College Hall of Fame (2011) and most recently the North High School Hall of Fame (2012). Tex has been named International League Executive of the Year five times and received the Presidents’ Trophy from Minor League Baseball in 1987. The Presidents’ Trophy is presented annually to the National Association club best exemplifying the standards of the complete baseball franchise.
“Tex Simone is not only an International League icon, but an icon throughout Minor League Baseball,” said International League President Randy Mobley. “Had it not been for Tex’s love of the Chiefs and his community, it is likely that NBT Bank Stadium is never built and quite possible that professional baseball is not in Syracuse today. Tex Simone should be known as Mr. Baseball in Syracuse.”
“A valued director of the International League for decades, the League has not seen a more humble and considerate individual on its Board of Directors in our lifetime,” Mobley added. “Tex Simone and the Chiefs organization under him have always been the ultimate team player in League-wide matters. Tex may be stepping aside from day-to-day operations, but in his ongoing role as a vice president in the League, he will continue to be a valued confidant and resource.”
In 1997, the city of Syracuse renamed the street leading to its new stadium Tex Simone Drive in honor of the man who devoted his life to preserving professional baseball in Syracuse. The Syracuse Chiefs are planning a celebration of Tex’s career to mark the beginning of the 2014 season, which will be the team’s 100th as a member of the International League.
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