by Malik Vincent
With an existing shortage of minorities in the game of baseball, Tyrone Brooks—whose rise from an intern to front office executive—marks an unlikely climb.
Yet, in just his second season with the Pirates, Brooks made such an impact with General Manager Neal Huntington that he is now the team’s fourth man in-charge.
As the new director of Player Personnel, he is responsible for overseeing all of the organization’s staff that deals with pro scouting and recruiting.
(Pittsburgh Pirates Photo/File)
“Ty is a tremendous person,” Huntington said. “He’s intelligent and hardworking and has got a tremendous future in the game. He’s brought a variety of experience to our organization. He worked with some great general managers and has a wealth of experience.”
Along with Huntington and others, Brooks has been helpful in the idea of building up the Pirates through the draft and signing quality prospects from overseas.
“I’ll be going to various international locations to cross-check players when we’re recruiting them,” Brooks said. “I’ve gone to Australia, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan already this year. We’re looking into signing some players from all of these places. I’ll also help with strategic planning and working with Neal to make external moves.”
Brooks, 37, was brought to the team as its Director of Baseball Operations after being with the Cleveland Indians as a professional scout.
“We’ve decided to utilize some of his skills in a different way with his new position,” Huntington added. It’s a better match of what he brings to the table by overseeing all of our scouts and our international non-Latin American talent because he’s such a great evaluator.”
He spent 11 seasons with the Atlanta Braves, where he’s begin his career as an intern in its Career Initiative Program, started by famer Hank Aaron for minority candidates. He was hired there the summer after his 1996 graduation from the University of Maryland—College Park with a dual major in Accounting and Marketing.
“I was fortunate to have been given the opportunity to get into Major League Baseball right out of college,” Brooks said. “I one day have aspirations to become a general manager. The initial opportunity really set me up. Since then, I’ve always been determined to work my way up.”
A native of Bethesda, Md., a young Brooks played baseball in high school and became a staff photographer of Maryland’s Terrapin Yearbook and the famous Diamondback student newspaper in college.
Now in his 16th season as a professional, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Midwest Scouts Association and for the North County High School in Glen Burnie, MD’s Alumni Scholarship.
He’s has also found ways to help solve the game of baseball’s shortage of Blacks and other minorities, namely, by founding the Baseball Industry Network. The group, intended for networking, is hosted by the social media site Linkdin (www.linkdin.com) and is currently over 9,700 members.
“I know I didn’t have a lot of stumbling blocks breaking into the game,” he said. “I designed the network to help minorities that are already in the game and those that are trying to break into it the same opportunities that I had.”
(Malik Vincent can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)