ORLANDO, FLORIDA – Jim Small has been promoted to senior vice president of Major League Baseball’s international business and will move back to the New York area after establishing MLB’s Tokyo office and running it for 15 years.
The 57-year-old worked in the public relations departments of the Kansas City Royals, Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers and the commissioner’s office, spent two years with Nike, then returned to MLB in August 1998 as a vice president of MLB International.
He opened the Tokyo office during the second half of the 2003 season and helped launch the World Baseball Classic in 2006. Small had been vice president of Asia-Pacific.
Small replaces Chris Park, who left MLB in December to become chief executive officer of Gen.G, an esports company Charlie Hill, a 34-year-old who heads MLB’s London office, was promoted Friday to vice president of international strategic development from managing director of Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Rodrigo Fernandez, 40, becomes managing director of Latin America. He opened a new office after he was hired as managing director of Mexico in 2016.
Sami Kawakami, who has worked for MLB in Tokyo since 2004, becomes managing director of Japan and takes over many of Small’s responsibilities. Kawakami is 38.