Longtime baseball executive Bob Aylward very badly wanted to help the Seattle Mariners someday raise a World Series banner.
He will have to see it happen as a fan.
After 42 years of working in major league baseball, including the past 20 as the executive vice president of baseball operations with the Mariners, Aylward announced Monday that he was retiring, effective at month’ end.
“I have had a tremendous opportunity to combine a career with a game I love,” Aylward said in a statement released by the team.
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Aylward will remain a special consultant to Mariners’ CEO John Stanton and president Kevin Mather through mid-summer of 2018.
After being hired by the team in 1997, one of Aylward’s first responsibilities was leading the transition from the Kingdome to Safeco Field, which opened two years later.
He has also largely been responsible for building the franchise’s corporate sponsorship and marketing strategies, as well as overseeing the Mariners’ communications department.
Before coming to Seattle, Aylward was the vice president of business affairs for the Baltimore Orioles, leading that club’s move to Camden Yards when it opened in 1992.
Aylward also served on MLB’s ticket review, scheduling and properties board committees.
A Mississippi native, and graduate of Vanderbilt University, Aylward will continue to live in Mercer Island with his wife, Elizabeth, and two daughters, Laura and Caitlin.