HOUSTON — Brad Corbett, who owned the Texas Rangers from 1974 to 1980 and wasn’t afraid to regularly switch out managers, died on Christmas Eve. He was 75.
Corbett’s daughter, Pamela Corbett Murrin, told The Associated Press that her father died peacefully in his sleep on Monday. She said he had not been sick recently.
“The Texas Rangers are saddened to hear of the death of Brad Corbett,” the team said in a statement. “His tenure as owner was marked by a passion and drive to bring a winning team to the fans of North Texas.”
At Corbett’s helm, the team had six managers in six years – four in the 1977 season alone. An article on the Rangers’ website also said the team had its first four winning seasons under Corbett and finished second in the AL West three times. The 94 victories in 1977 remained the most in team history until 1999, it said.
“The spirit in which Mr. Corbett served as owner of the Rangers will be remembered always,” the team statement said.
Corbett was directly involved in decision-making, including player transactions. Corbett traded away three future Hall of Fame pitchers — Ferguson Jenkins, Gaylord Perry and Bert Blyleven – during his tenure.
Corbett made his money in the plastics business, turning a $300,000 loan from the Small Business Administration into a multimillion dollar company that sold plastic pipes for industrial use.
Just three seasons after the Rangers had moved from Washington, D.C., Corbett bought the team from Bob Short. He sold the team to Fort Worth oil man Eddie Chiles in 1980, when both the Rangers and Corbett’s other ventures were struggling financially.