Former MLB GM, CMC Grad, to Headline Sports Industry

Sadly, we’re but a month away from the departure of the Class of 2011. When you look at this year's senior class, it's easy to speculate about who will find success in their chosen fields. Naturally, we tend to remember the most traditional destinations for Claremont graduates—consulting, graduate school, finance, politics, journalism, science research, travel fellowships, the arts. Many sports fans forget that some of our classmates might very well make their careers around sports management, broadcasting, or journalism.

In anticipation of the Claremont Sports Connection's first annual Sports Industry Day on Sunday, TSL has decided to profile Dean Taylor CMC ’73, who has had a long and fruitful career as a Major League Baseball executive. Taylor is one of a number of sports professionals who will be in attendance on Sunday to network with Claremont students looking to find employment in the wide world of sports.

After hearing about Ohio University’s Sports Administration program, Taylor left CMC intending to one day work in an MLB front office. After graduating from the program in 1975, he began to climb his way to the top. He spent four years as a minor league GM before joining the Kansas City Royals as an administrative assistant in their minor league department. Within a year, the team had given him a new title: Assistant Director of Scouting and Player Development. Kansas City won the World Series in 1985, and by the time the rings arrived in the spring, the Royals had named Taylor “Assistant to the General Manager,” second in command to legendary GM John Schuerholz. The duo stuck together until 1990, when Taylor left to become the Manager of Baseball Operations in the Commissioner’s Office and Schuerholz began his reign as the Atlanta Braves’ GM.

The next year, the Taylor/Schuerholz pairing re-united in Atlanta, with Taylor once again serving as John’s assistant in the baseball operations department. Their Braves dominated the National League, missing only one postseason in nine years. They celebrated the ten-year anniversary of their Royals World Series victory with another championship, this time jumping, screaming, and spraying champagne with their hand-picked Atlanta squad.

Taylor finally got the opportunity to be head honcho on September 21, 1999, when the Milwaukee Brewers signed him as their Senior VP of Baseball Operations and General Manager. During his three years with the Brewers organization, Taylor drafted the likes of J.J. Hardy, Prince Fielder, and Corey Hart. After his stint in the Badger State, Taylor consulted for the Dodgers in ’03, scouting major league players and evaluating a minor league system stocked with future big leaguers like Edwin Jackson, Franklin Gutierrez, and Jonathan Broxton. After a year back in the land of his undergraduate alma mater, Taylor once again made the CA-for-OH swap, joining the Cincinnati Reds as Assistant GM.

Two and a half years later, he returned to the organization that gave him his first opportunity in the league, the Royals. Along with GM Dayton Moore, the life-long Stag has developed what many consider to be the game’s strongest farm system, replete with top prospects like Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, and Will Myers. If these prospects pan out, Taylor and Moore could usher in a revival of the Kansas City powerhouses that dominated the 1980s.

Thirty-eight years ago, Dean Taylor was just a CMC student, picking up his final credits en route to an economics degree. Now, he’s won two World Series rings and personally knows players like Prince Fielder, Greg Maddux, and everyone’s favorite outfielder, Melky Cabrera. On Sunday, he will talk about his career and how he got from the classrooms of Claremont to the front offices of the MLB. He’ll be accompanied by other industry insiders Pete Arbogast (the voice of the USC Trojans), Pedro Maura (an ESPN LA contributor), and James Collins (VP of Ticket Sales for the Ontario Reign), to name a few. Sports Industry Day will take place in Edmunds Ballroom from 3:30 at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 17.

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