Alumnus Earns Mentoring Award For Work As President Of Minor League Baseball
Pat O’Conner ’80 has paid his dues in 28 years in professional baseball, including the last 17 in the Minor League Baseball office. He also has taught others how to pay their dues, which led the National Association of Col lege Directors’ of Athletics (NACDA) McLendon Scholarship Steering Committee to award O’Conner the 2010 Selig Mentoring Award. Established in 2007 in honor of Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig, the award is presented annually to a person in athletics administration who has been at the forefront in creating equal opportunities for minorities in the field of athletics. The John McLendon Memorial Minority Postgraduate Scholarship Awards are presented by NACDA, the professional and educational association for more than 6,500 college athletics administrators at more than 1,600 institutions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico, to senior level minority students who intend to pursue a graduate degree in athletics administration.
O’Conner, who majored in economics at Wittenberg, joined the Minor League Baseball staff in May 1993 as chief operating officer and later added the title of vice president, administration. He was elected the 11th president of Minor League Baseball in December 2007 and has overseen a period of staggering increases in revenue among the 160 affiliated teams. Under O’Conner’s guidance, Minor League Baseball also announced a first- ever Diversity Initiative in 2009, and he embarked on a series of steps to introduce Minor League Baseball as an investment, career, entertainment and business option to minorities.