In August 2009, Tyrone Brooks launched his personal Baseball Industry Network as a grapevine for people interested in careers in the game.Brooks' "network" just became a little wider, as MLB's first senior director of the new Front Office & Field Staff Diversity Pipeline Program.Commissioner Rob Manfred created the new position,
In August 2009, Tyrone Brooks launched his personal Baseball Industry Network as a grapevine for people interested in careers in the game.
Brooks' "network" just became a little wider, as MLB's first senior director of the new Front Office & Field Staff Diversity Pipeline Program.
Commissioner Rob Manfred created the new position, following the recommendation of an advisory council, to stimulate greater diversity on baseball's administrative levels.
No one is more passionate about that mission, nor has been more dedicated to it, than Brooks, who had been the Pirates' director for baseball personnel since Dec. 2, 2009.
"I will miss the Pirates, for sure, but this is a great opportunity to do something bigger than myself, and try to impact other lives," said Brooks, 42. "I can assist the next generation trying to get into the industry, and I look forward to having a real impact, and to helping MLB make some inroads."
Brooks spent 11 years in the Braves organization and three as an Indians scout prior to rejoining Neal Huntington -- who had been an assistant GM in Cleveland -- in the Pittsburgh front office. Brooks was a key cog in the turnaround of a franchise that had endured 20 consecutive losing seasons. The Pirates averaged 93 wins from 2013-15.
"I'm thankful to Neal, [club chairman] Bob Nutting, [club president] Frank Coonelly and [manager Clint Hurdle] for the opportunities they've given me to grow, and to be a part of something special. As an organization, we took a big step forward," Brooks said.
The Diversity Pipeline had been in development for an extended time, starting with that advisory council tasked with "delving into diversity issues in the industry," said Brooks.
"When I learned they were actually looking for somebody who could run the program and get it off the ground," he continued, "I threw my name in … and went through the selection process.
"We'll have an active recruiting staff, and physically do a lot of outreach to individuals we'll be able to identify [as deserving job candidates]. It'll be a team effort. MLB is committed to bringing in qualified minorities and females. On a team-by-team level, we'll help them through the process of identifying candidates for internship and entry-level jobs, then watch their development."
**Tom Singer** is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer.