Mark Shapiro, right, succeeded John Hart in 2001.
The Sporting News has named Cleveland Indians
Executive Vice President and General Manager Mark Shapiro as the 2005 Major League
Baseball Executive of the Year. The announcement was made Monday night at the General Managers meetings in Indian Wells, Calif.
Shapiro is the third executive in club history to win The Sporting News award, joining the late former team owner Bill Veeck (1948) and former GM John Hart (1994 and 1995).
Second in voting this year for the honor was General Manager Ken Williams of the World Champion Chicago White Sox, followed by Atlanta Braves GM John Schuerholz.
Two executives from each big league club do the voting for a total of 60 ballots.
Shapiro, 38, has rebuilt the Indians into one of the most exciting young teams in the American League during his tenure, which began when he succeeded Hart after the 2001 season.
A series of trades and free agent signings, coupled with the work of manager Eric Wedge, who was Shapiro's choice to take over the club in 2003, helped the Indians post double-digit increases in the win column in each of the last
two seasons. Cleveland went from 68 wins in 2003 to 80 wins in 2004 to 93 wins this past
season to become only the fourth team since 1970 to accomplish consecutive double-digit increases in full, 162-game seasons.
Shapiro is entering his fifth season as the Indians' top executive after being named to the post in November 2001. His tenure with the club began in 1992 as an assistant in baseball operations. He later served as assistant director of player development, director of player development and then assistant GM to Hart.