When Omar Minaya was appointed Vice President & General Manager of the Montreal Expos in 2002, he became not only the first Hispanic general manager, but the highest ranking foreign-born official in major league baseball. With 26 percent of major league players born outside the continental United States, and the Dominican Republic supplying the majority of these foreign born players, Omar?s ability to break into the top tier of baseball management is crucial to ensuring that Latinos are represented in the sports executive ranks.
After playing briefly in the minor leagues, Omar left the field, but not the sport. In 1985 he joined the Texas Rangers scouting team, where he was promoted to director of professional and international scouting, and was responsible for the signing of Sammy Sosa, Fernando Tatis and Juan Gonzalez, among others. ?Being born in the Dominican Republic, but having grown up in Queens, I always felt what I could offer the young Hispanic player was an understanding of the culture.? Born in the inland town of Valverde Mao, his family left the Dominican Republic when he was eight years old and he grew up in the shadows of Shea Stadium in Corona, Queens. Thirty years later he would return to Shea as the Assistant General Manager of the New York Mets.
Faced with detrimental odds and an extremely restrictive budget, Minaya has exhibited magic with the Montreal Expos. When he was named general manager, he was given six employees and three weeks to rebuild an organization. He filled over 90 vacancies, saved the Expos from contraction, and led the team to a winning record for the first time since 1996. In addition to his responsibilities with the Expos, he is currently a member of the Selection Committee for the United States? Pan-American and Olympic Teams and spends time in New Jersey with his wife, Rachel, and children Teddy and Justin.