Bob Aylward, the Mariners Executive Vice President of Business Operations since 1997, is retiring.
Aylward has been in Major League Baseball since 1976 when he started his career with the Baltimore Orioles. Over his last 10 seasons with Baltimore, he served as the team’s Vice President of Business Affairs. Aylward was instrumental in the Orioles’ move to Camden Yards in 1992, experience that proved vital when the Mariners moved from the Kingdome to Safeco Field in 1999. Prior to joining the Mariners, he also spent two years as business consultant to the Tampa Bay Rays as the franchise prepared to join MLB.
“For the past 42 years, I have had a tremendous opportunity to combine a career with the game I love,” Aylward said in a statement released by the Mariners. “I want to express a sincere thank you to Mariners ownership and the people I have had the honor of working with at the Mariners. I could not have had a better 20 years. I’ve also been fortunate to serve with and learn from hundreds people in Major League Baseball and in this community. I will be rooting with all the fans here for the Mariners to raise a World Championship flag.”
MLB Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said, “During a long and accomplished career in the National Pastime, Bob Aylward has been valuable to not only the Seattle Mariners and Baltimore Orioles, but also to Major League Baseball. Through his work on league-wide initiatives and committees, Bob used his knowledge and experience to benefit our game. It is an honor to congratulate Bob on a job well done and to wish him and his family the very best in his retirement.”
Aylward will retire from day-to-day operations effective Oct. 31, though he will remain a Special Consultant to Mariners Chairman John Stanton and President Kevin Mather through next July. Additionally, he will continue as Board Chair of ROOT SPORTS Northwest.
“We want to thank Bob Aylward for his tremendous dedication and leadership which has resulted in great success during his two decades with the Mariners, and congratulate him for his 42 years in the game of baseball,” Stanton said. “He is one of the best in all of professional sports. We are a dramatically better organization because of his leadership.
“Bob brought with him a wealth of experience from the Baltimore Orioles that benefited the Mariners enormously, including his experience in the development of Camden Yards which guided our launch of Safeco Field. His fingerprints are on many other innovations in the world of sports sales, marketing, sponsorships, promotions, broadcasting, and advertising.”