Honor Roll: Jim Tygrett, Sacramento MSBL
|All the Sacramento MSBL Presidents -- Left to Right: Val Lewis (president 1984-1990); Jerry Karnow (1991-2003); Jim Lortz (2004-2006); Lanny Ropke(2007-2008) and Jim Tygrett (2009-2012)
By Jeff McGaw, MSBLNational.com
The pressure of taking over as President of the Sacramento MSBL isn't unlike the pressure facing a relief pitcher that has been called upon to come into a game and protect a big lead. The mission is clear: "Don't screw it up.”
After three years at the helm for the Sacramento MSBL Jim Tygrett can confidently look back and say "mission accomplished.”
Tygrett retired from his post on June 30. Rusty McClain, a league commissioner for the past two years, and a well-known, home-grown baseball guy who has coached many college and pro-bound players over the years, assumed the Presidency that very same day.
Sacramento is a model MSBL league. It was formed by some baseball-hungry 40-somethings in 1984 – two years prior to the creation of the National MSBL and joined the National MSBL in 1988.
In the intervening 27 years five men, including Tygrett, served full terms as presidents and they transformed it from a fledgling, four-team league into a model of ambition and success with 550 players, its own lighted field complex, a hall of fame, and 45 MSBL World Series titles – believed to be the most by any MSBL league.
Tygrett who has also served as a league commissioner, secretary, treasurer and vice president of the league, took over in 2009 and not only did he not screw it up, he saved it quite a bit of money.
The league's was not, as it previously thought, operating as a 501c3 not for profit organization – something it realized only after some investigative work by Tygrett. "We thought we were, but we weren't,” Tygrett said.
Tygrett got the phone book out, found an attorney who would do some pro-bono work the league, and in October 2010 the league started a sort of bureaucratic do-over. "We had to reapply for nonprofit status,” Tygrett said. "We had to revise some bylaws. It took until July 2011 to finish the job according to Tygrett. The league is actually a 501 c4 organization now.
"It puts a stamp on us as an organization,” he said. "We're more than just a local baseball league. We're a social organization.” Tygrett's work saved the league from potential IRS penalties. "We got it all straightened out,” he said. "It was a matter of tying up a few loose ends.”
Under Tygrett the league was able to pay off the loan for the lights at its McAuliffe Field complex. It added LED lights in the parking lot there too.
Tygrett is proud of the league. Citing the league's colossal trophy case from the MSBL World Series, Tygrett said, "You want to maintain that level of how people think about you and what it's like to play in the Sacramento League.”Tygrett is a long way from where he started. He was born on Staten Island, grew up in New Jersey worshipping Yankee third baseman Clete Boyer. He would often take the train, bus and subway to Yankee Stadium. He also saw games at the Polo Grounds and at Connie Mack Stadium. After High School, Tygrett attended Missouri Valley College.
Tygrett moved to California in 1978 and recently retired as a prison counselor in Placer County's alternative sentencing program.
Tygrett heard about the league from a friend and former President Jerry Tarnow. In 2011 Tygrett was given membership in the Sacramento MSBL Hall of Fame.
Tygrett is quick to praise the 10-member board whose members handle various duties from pictures to advertising and marketing. "We owe a lot to the current guys, but we also owe a lot to the old guys for what they did,”
Tygrett said. "There is a responsibility you have to take on here,” he said. "Every President has made an improvement.”