Press release Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball announced the promotion of Tony Reagins to Executive Vice President of Baseball & Softball Development. In this elevated role, Reagins will oversee the growth of youth and amateur levels of the sport, both domestically and internationally. He also will be responsible at the professional level for streamlining amateur scouting around the world and operations of the Arizona Fall League. Reagins, who joined the Commissioner’s Office in March 2015 as Senior Vice President of Youth Programs, will continue to report directly to Deputy Commissioner, Business & Media Tony Petitti.
Reagins’ department will continue to emphasize its U.S.-based model of strengthening participation levels of baseball and softball, both at the grassroots and the development stages. This approach includes the continued growth of the “PLAY BALL” initiative, which launched in June 2015 and now includes multilateral partnerships with USA Baseball, USA Softball, Minor League Baseball, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Little League International. Reagins also has led the proliferation of the “Breakthrough Series” amateur development camps, which now covers boys baseball, girls baseball, and softball. Additional programs that will continue to be covered by the Baseball & Softball Development department include Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI), MLB Youth Academies, the Elite Development Invitational and the Andre Dawson Classic.
Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said: “Tony Reagins has led some of our sport’s most important initiatives, which has resulted in significant and tangible gains in the youth and amateur spaces. We look forward to Tony excelling in this expanded role and continuing our momentum in an area that is vital to the game’s future.”
In May 2017, the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) announced that with nearly 25 million participants, baseball and softball combined to rank as the most participated team sports in the United States. Overall baseball participation increased by 7.7% and slow-pitch softball participation increased by 8.1%, with casual participation in both baseball and slow-pitch softball showing the highest growth. Casual participation in baseball rose by 18.1% and slow-pitch softball increased by 12.4%. The SFIA report also found that when combined, baseball and softball (fast-and slow-pitch) have more casual participants than any other sport (10.25 million total casual participants).
Prior to joining the Commissioner’s Office, Reagins held several key roles with the Los Angeles Angels. His unique career path began with a marketing/advertising sales and baseball operations internship with the Angels before transitioning full-time to the baseball side. He served as the team’s Director of Player Development and then became the fifth African-American General Manager in baseball history. As General Manager of the Angels, Reagins amassed a record of 363-285 (.560), averaging nearly 91 wins per season. His highlights included the Club’s consecutive American League West crowns in 2008-09 and its first 100-win season in franchise history in ’08, which resulted in Reagins being named the Rube Foster American League Executive of the Year. Reagins is a native of Indio, California and graduated from California State University, Fullerton in 1991.