Trevor Gooby, a fixture of Pirates baseball as the organization’s senior director of Florida operations for more than a decade, is leaving Bradenton to take a position with the Mariners. Gooby, who has been with Pittsburgh since December 2004, is heading to Seattle to become the Mariners’ vice president of ballpark operations.
His last day with the Pirates will be Sept. 22. Pittsburgh has not yet named a successor.
“It’s a great opportunity for me,” Gooby said. “I’ve always worked for a major league team in Florida and spring training, but now I get a chance to work for a major league team at the major league city. It’s a great opportunity for me and something I’m really looking forward to.”
In his nearly 12 years as Pittsburgh’s director of Florida operations, the Ipswich, Mass., native has overseen an era of growth for Pirates baseball in Manatee County. In 2007, Gooby helped the Pirates negotiate a 30-year lease with the City of Bradenton and the next year oversaw the organization’s overhaul of Pirate City. Three years later, the Marauders played their inaugural season in the Florida State League (FSL) at McKechnie Field under Gooby’s watch. And in 2013, the organization spent $10 million on renovations at McKechnie. This spring, Ballpark Digest readers voted McKechnie Field as the best spring training stadium in Florida’s Grapefruit League.
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The organizational growth in Florida has spread into both the surrounding community and the major league team. Last year, Pittsburgh generated an estimated $60 million in revenue for the community and last month was named to the Manatee County Tourist Development Council. This summer the Marauders crossed the 30-player mark of alumni to reach the majors. That number now stands at 34 in less than seven full seasons as the Pirates’ Class A Advanced affiliate.
End of an era Trevor Gooby oversaw one of the most fruitful decades of baseball in Bradenton during his time as the Pirates’ senior director of Florida operations. Here are some of his most notable accomplishments: Helped negotiate 30-year lease between the Pirates and the City of Bradenton in 2006. Oversaw renovations at Pirate City spring training facility in 2007. Served as director of Florida operations during Marauders’ inaugural season in 2010. Oversaw $10-million renovation of McKechnie Field in 2013. Helped raise an estimated $60-million in revenue for the community during his final year with Pittsburgh.
“We as an organization, the Pirates, have really been able to turn around the facilities that we have here in Bradenton, working with the city of Bradenton, working with Manatee County and the state of Florida to really become the top spring training facility in Major League Baseball,” Gooby said. “We’ve been able to develop a really great program here in Bradenton and you can see the success we’ve had here in Bradenton has really translated to the major league level.”
His most memorable single moment, though, may not be one that has anything to do with the economic and athletic development he brought the area and organization. He rose to viral notoriety in 2012 when he helped deliver a baby during a pre-spring training event at McKechnie. The strange moment was commemorated with a bobblehead given out during a Marauders game later that year.
Gooby arrived in Bradenton as a 28-year-old with minor league experience in Florida. Pittsburgh hired him away from Vero Beach, where Gooby was the general manager for the now-defunct Class A Advanced Vero Beach Dodgers.
The only thing missing from his resume now is an FSL championship, and during the next week the Marauders could deliver him one. Bradenton is in the postseason for the fourth time during Gooby’s tenure.
“I have great memories. The Pirates gave me a great chance,” Gooby said. “It’s been a great run and something that I’m not quite finished because I’ve never won a Florida State League championship. This is an opportunity with the Marauders to be the icing on the cake.”