St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - Syd Thrift, a major league consultant for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and long-time baseball executive, announced his retirement Sunday after nearly 50 years in the business.
During his career in baseball, Thrift worked in operations for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals, Oakland A's, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles, in addition to the Devil Rays.
"All of us across major league baseball involved in scouting and player development owe Syd a debt of gratitude for his creative thinking and innovative ideas and for his dedication toward the advancement of our profession," said Tampa's senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager Chuck LaMar.
Thrift was the general manager of the Pirates from 1985 through 1988 before heading to the Yankees as senior vice president for baseball operations in 1989. He then was a consultant for the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets and San Francisco Giants before becoming assistant general manager of the Chicago Cubs in 1991.
In 1995, Thrift was named Director of Player Development for the Orioles, and later served as director of player personnel and vice president for baseball operations. Thrift left Baltimore in 2002, joining the Devil Rays as a consultant in 2003.
Thrift is credited with introducing many new ideas into baseball management, including the areas of scouting, minor league instruction, and physical and mental training programs. He also offered classes to players regarding matters such as financial planning, public speaking and nutrition.