Tal Smith, a longtime Houston Astros executive, has been named a special adviser to Opening Day Partners (ODP).
ODP is a an owner/operator of minor league teams and is the parent company of the York Revolution and the Sugar Land Skeeters, Houston's new minor league baseball team. The Skeeters begin their inaugural season on Thursday at sold-out Constellation Field in Sugar Land against the Revolution.
A veteran of 54 years in baseball, Smith most recently served as president of baseball operations for the Astros from Nov. 22, 1994, through Nov. 27, 2011 - completing his 35th season with the Astros over three separate terms.
"Tal Smith has been a friend and informal adviser for decades, and it is an honor and privilege to be able to work closely with Tal on a more formal basis," said Peter Kirk, chairman of ODP. "Tal will be a significant factor in assuring the success of the Sugar Land Skeeters and also in helping ODP and the other owners of the Atlantic League as we progress with the league's recently announced national expansion."
Smith will work with ODP on various areas of business and baseball operations. He will advise ODP on the Skeeters, as well as new locations for Atlantic League teams. He will also advise on relations between the Atlantic League and Major League Baseball.
"It is fantastic to have Tal and his experience and knowledge of baseball in our organization," said Matt O'Brien, president of the Skeeters. "His understanding of Houston and of baseball will help the Skeeters become one of the premier minor league brands in the country."