Blue Jays name Beeston president emeritus

Blue Jays name Beeston president emeritus

SEATTLE -- The Blue Jays have honored longtime front office executive Paul Beeston by officially giving him the title of president emeritus.

Beeston received the position "in perpetuity" and he becomes the first employee to hold such a distinction. The move was designed to recognize the 71-year-old for his many years of service and contributions to the organization.

Beeston became the first employee of the Blue Jays when he was hired as the vice president of administration in 1976. He took over as vice president of business operations in 1977 and served as the club's president from 1989-97. 

Following Beeston's first stint with the club, he worked for the Commissioner's Office and was then brought back to Toronto as club president in 2008. He held that position until retiring at the end of the 2015 season, on the same day Mark Shapiro officially joined the organization.

"Paul's achievements and dedication to both the Blue Jays and MLB is incomparable," Blue Jays president Shapiro said in a statement released by the club. "This is simply a small token of recognition for the nearly four decades he's given the game. We felt it was right to honour the legacy he has built and ensure he's a part of the future successes of this team."

Though officially retired, Beeston has maintained a strong presence around the team this season. He still has an office at Rogers Centre and has been seen at almost all of Toronto's home games. The only difference now is that he once again has a title in the front office.

"I am truly fortunate to once again be welcomed back into this great organization," Beeston said. "To have a small role moving forward is something that I sincerely appreciate.

"Over the past year, I have had a front-row seat to observe Mark Shapiro's innovative thinking, his professionalism and his commitment to winning and bringing a championship to Toronto. I am confident we will achieve that goal and get back to where we have not been for over 23 years. Go Jays!"

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.