Lee Pelekoudas, whose 30 years with the Seattle Mariners began as a traveling secretary and included a term as interim general manager, resigned today.
The son of a major league umpire, Chris Pelekoudas, Lee has been with Seattle since 1979, most recently as the associate general manager.
Over his career he has counseled general managers from Dick Balderson to Pat Gillick, from Woody Woodward to Jack Zduriencik.
"When I joined the Mariners in 1979 I fulfilled a dream of working in Major League Baseball. I deeply appreciate the tremendous opportunity I've had to work with some great people in a great city, and appreciate all that it has meant to me and my family for the past 30 years," Lee said.
"In particular, I want to thank Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong for the confidence they have had in me over the years. I believe the organization is headed in the right direction and know it will be successful. It's now time to do the next thing."
Pelekoudas is what is known in the game - with respect - as an old school baseball man, the kind whose love of the game and those in it is admirable for its purity.
The game was better when he was part of it, and the Mariners a better organization for his years here.
He will be missed by those he touched, including many who never knew his role in helping shape their careers.
Men like Pelekoudas are the lifeblood of the sport, those whose work is done behind the limelight.
Whatever his plans now, baseball will always be part of them. It will be a better day for baseball when he returns to it.