After 42 years working in Major League Baseball, including the last 20 for the Seattle Mariners, Bob Aylward announced he is retiring.
Aylward, the Mariners Executive Vice President of Business Operations, joined the organization in 1997, and one of his first challenges was leading the move from the Kingdome to Safeco Field in 1999. It was a challenge for which he was well prepared.
Bob began his career with the Baltimore Orioles in 1976, and served as the club’s Vice President of Business Affairs during his last 10 years there. He was instrumental in the move to Camden Yards in 1992, and brought that experience to the Mariners. He also served as business consultant to the Tampa Bay Rays for two years at the franchise’s inception prior to joining the Mariners organization.
Bob said, “For the past 42 years, I have had a tremendous opportunity to combine a career with the game I love. 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.”
Throughout his career, Aylward was active on many MLB committees, including the Ticketing Review Committee, Scheduling Committee and MLB Properties Board.
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.”
During his time in Seattle, Aylward served on several civic boards including the non-profit organization Washington Global Health Alliance, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the Seattle Sports Commission.
Although retiring from the Mariners day-to-day operations effective Oct. 31, he will remain as a Special Consultant to Chairman John Stanton and President Kevin Mather through next July. In addition, he will continue as Board Chair of ROOT SPORTS Northwest, the regional sports network.
Mariners Chairman and CEO John Stanton said, “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. 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.”
Aylward is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and attended the Ohio University graduate school of sports administration. Bob is a native of Pace, Miss. He and his wife Elizabeth live in Mercer Island, Wash., and have two daughters, Laura and Caitlin.