Akron native and veteran minor league baseball executive Jim Pfander has been hired as the new General Manager of the Akron Aeros. Pfander is only the second general manager in Aeros history, and the first executive named by new owner Ken Babby.
No tour of Canal Park will be necessary for Pfander, who served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Aeros in 2011. Pfander's efforts that season resulted in the first attendance increase in seven years. Ticket and sponsorship revenue also increased from the previous year under Pfander's leadership.
Most recently, Pfander spent the 2012 season as the General Manager of the Charlotte (Fla.) Stone Crabs of the Florida State League. The Stone Crabs are a Class-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. His responsibilities included overseeing the Stone Crabs organization and the Rays spring training as well. He and his staff also hosted the Florida State League All-Star Game last season.
Other stops during his 13-year career include various positions with teams in Charleston, South Carolina, Brockton, Massachusetts, and Spokane, Washington.
Pfander is a graduate of Archbishop Hoban High School and Ohio University. He began his baseball career as an intern in the Cleveland Indians broadcasting department in 2000, prior to several assignments with minor league teams across the country.
"I am extremely pleased to welcome Jim back home to Akron and Canal Park," said Babby. "His experience and enthusiasm will be invaluable as we enter a new era of Aeros baseball."
As General Manager of the Aeros, Pfander will oversee all business and promotional aspects of the organization, including sales, ticketing, marketing and community relations.
"The opportunity to return to my hometown and rejoin the Aeros is very exciting," said Pfander, who is expected to officially begin working with the team on October 22nd. "I look forward to working with Ken Babby, and the new business team we are assembling, and certainly embrace coming home to the passionate Aeros fans in Akron/Canton and all of Northeast, Ohio. I am also excited to continue to build on our great relationship with the City of Akron and the Indians organization."