PAWTUCKET – If Mike Tamburro were to take a page from late night talk show David Letterman and compose a top 10 list based exclusively on all the achievements and accolades bestowed upon him over the years, chances are the exercise would tug at the heart of the team president of the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Still, there’s something so noteworthy, so duly deserving, about having “Hall of Famer” appear immediately following one’s name that it automatically triggers cause for deep reflection. Tamburro did just that Tuesday after the International League unveiled its 2012 Hall of Fame class of which he’ll be joined by former Columbus and Durham pitcher Dave Eiland, along with ex-Durham manager Bill Evers.
“An award like this makes you stop and reflect more than any other I’ve been involved with,” Tamburro offered. “It’s been the honor of my lifetime to serve these great PawSox fans and to be able to come into (McCoy Stadium) daily and tackle the challenge of running this great organization and finding a way to make it run better and be more fan friendly, it’s been a labor of love and continues to be just that.”
Speaking with an open and honest heart, which for anyone who has ever been in the company of Tamburro know these traits stand out, the proud and longtime PawSox executive added, “If you can do something you love for a living … I think that’s the privilege that I’ve had here. I care deeply about the fans and deeply about this community. It’s hard to believe that these many years have passed by, but I’m a lucky guy and this (Hall of Fame distinction) is a special milestone.”
The release sent out by the PawSox noted that Tamburro has bled PawSox baseball since 1977, the year in which late owner Ben Mondor entrusted him with the general manager role. As Pawtucket rose from a woebegone franchise to one of great distinction and acclaim, word filtered out regarding just how deeply committed Tamburro – along with Mondor and present day general manager Lou Schwechheimer – were in creating and fostering a ballpark atmosphere that set out to put a smile on the customer’s face. Tamburro, who was appointed to his current title of president in 1985, has been honored a record five times as the International League Executive of the Year.
He has also been a driven and exemplary force throughout the minor-league baseball circuit, serving as a member and former chairman of the industry's board of trustees. Never once, though, has Tamburro lost sight of the big picture, hence why he took the time to tip his cap and say thanks to the “remarkably talented staff” which walks the same McCoy hallways that he does. Without their collective – and mostly unnoticed – contributions, the PawSox as a brand would probably be viewed in a different light.
“You don’t achieve an honor like this without the help of great people. Our senior staff, which has been together for so long, has committed their lives to building this organization, to make it better by having a fan-first mentality,” was Tamburro’s way of making sure not to forget the efforts of Schwechheimer, Bill Wanless (PR guru), Matt White (chief financial officer), Michael Gwynn (sales & marketing) and Mick Tedesco (stadium operations).
“I think this award speaks volumes about the respect that Pawtucket has in the eyes of the industry and I think all of us associated with the PawSox are very proud of the reputation this organization has,” Tamburro went on. “I think that goes a long way in allowing people like us to get awards like this.”
Tamburro mentioned that the official call from I.L. president Randy Mobley came in December. He will join Mondor, former PawSox manager Joe Morgan and player greats Jim Rice and Wade Boggs as members with tried-and-true PawSox ties in the I.L. Hall of Fame. Mondor, Rice and Morgan were all enshrined into the Hall of the Fame the same year (2008).
Tamburro will be inducted prior to a PawSox home game this summer. Plans are already coming together to commemorate this momentous occasion, of which Tamburro joked that he’s not allowed to be included in the process!
Looking ahead Tamburro said, “It’s going to be a very special day. I’m sure they’ll be a thousand things going through my mind based on a lot of memories gathered through the years.”