MARIETTA, Ga. -- The Southern League of Professional Baseball Clubs, Inc. announced today that president Don Mincher is retiring from his position after serving the league in that capacity for the past 12 seasons.
At the annual Fall Meetings in Pensacola, Fla., earlier this week, the Board of Directors was advised of Mincher's wish to retire at this time due to ongoing health issues, and they reluctantly accepted his decision.
"I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to serve as president of what I feel is the best league in baseball," Mincher said.
Because the members of the Southern League would greatly miss Mincher's leadership, and as an expression of their appreciation for his years of service, they unanimously appointed him President Emeritus.
The Southern League will look to him for continued advice and counsel in the future. Mincher assumed the interim president title in February 2000 when the league's former president resigned, and was subsequently elected president later that year.
Before becoming Southern League president, Mincher was general manager of the Southern League's Huntsville Stars from 1984 until he assembled a group of local owners who purchased the team in 1994. He sold his interest in the club when he was elected president of the League in 2000.
Mincher brought a wealth of baseball knowledge to the Stars and the league as a former Major Leaguer, having played 13 seasons with different teams, capped off by a World Series win in 1972 as a member of the Oakland Athletics. A success on and off the field, Mincher was enshrined in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2008 as well as being presented with the Warren Giles Award for Minor League Baseball's most outstanding service as a league president that same year.
In 2010, Mincher was named "King of Baseball," the highest honor bestowed by Minor League Baseball.
The League will immediately begin the process of identifying and electing a successor to Mincher. No specific time frame has been established for the completion of this process.
Steve DeSalvo, general manager of the Mississippi Braves and vice president of the Southern League, will assume the role of interim president until a new president is elected.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.