6:47 PM ET
NEW YORK — Jimmie Lee Solomon, a top executive for Major League Baseball under commissioner Bud Selig who established youth academies and helped launch the annual Futures Game of top prospects, has died. He was 64.
Solomon was among the highest-ranking Black officials in baseball when he left in 2012. His daughter, Tricia Solomon, said Friday that he was found dead at his house in Houston and the cause was not immediately known.
“I am surprised and saddened by the news of the passing of our former colleague,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “Jimmie Lee was passionate about providing opportunities to young athletes and advancing baseball in our communities. Our network of youth academies across the country is in large part a credit to his hard work and dedication.”
The first American academy opened in 2006 in Compton, California. Youth academics also were established in Houston and New Orleans as part of MLB’s efforts to revive the sport in inner cities and increase the presence of Black players in the major leagues. Since Solomon left MLB, additional academies opened in Washington; Cincinnati; Philadelphia; New York, Kansas City, Missouri; and