The Texas League has selected its next president, as experienced baseball executive Tim Purpura will take over the Class AA circuit. Purpura will succeed Tom Kayser, who is retiring after serving a league-record 25 seasons.
Purpura, 56, brings 25 years of vast experience in executive sports management, including Rangers Senior Director of Player Development (2011-13). Purpura also spent 14 seasons with the Houston Astros from 1994-2007. Purpura was the general manager of the 2005 National League championship club, serving in that capacity through 2007.
A major contributor to six Astros playoff appearances over nine seasons, Purpura began with Houston as Assistant Director of Minor League Operations in 1994. He also spent eight seasons as Assistant General Manager, seven in the combined role of Assistant General Manager and Farm Director.
Additionally, Purpura has worked as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Minor League Baseball from 2008 to 2011, an adjunct professor in Southern Methodist University’s Graduate School of Sports Management in 2014 and 2015, and since May of last year, he has been an Astros major league scout.
Purpura holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Loyola-Chicago and a Juris Doctor from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego. His honors include Organization of the Year (Astros) for 2001 from USA Today Baseball Weekly, Baseball America, Sports Ticker, and Topps, plus Topps 2012 Organization of the Year (Rangers).
Purpura began his baseball career as a spring training intern for the 1990 California Angels and later spent two seasons as assistant to the president of the Arizona Fall League.
“Tim is uniquely qualified to lead our league,” Corpus Christi Hooks President Ken Schrom said. “If you look at his experience throughout the industry, especially the challenges and opportunities he’s met down through the years, he may have the most comprehensive understanding of the relationship between Major League Baseball and the minor league game.
“He is extremely well-connected.”
With 25 years of service to the league, Kayser is its longest-running president. He plans to assist Purpura with transition until February 2017.
Before his election as TL president in February 1992, Kayser had experience in Minor League Baseball as a team owner, GM, and business manager. He also worked for the Pirates and Reds in minor league operations and scouting. Kayser was named to the Texas League Hall of Fame this season.
“Tom loves this league like no other. We’ll all miss him,” Schrom said. “I know I’ll miss him personally. I worked for 16 years in El Paso with the Diablos and he was league president for all but five of them.”
The Texas League Directors are: Russ Meeks (Arkansas), Ken Schrom (Corpus Christi), Chuck Greenberg (Frisco), E. Miles Prentice (Midland), Jon Dandes (Northwest Arkansas), Burl Yarbrough (San Antonio), William DeWitt III (Springfield), and Mike Melega (Tulsa).