Brad Corbett

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Brad Corbett
Born Bradford Gary Corbett
(1937-10-15)October 15, 1937
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
Died December 24, 2012(2012-12-24) (aged 75)
Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
Known for Owner of the Texas Rangers from 1974 to 1980

Bradford Gary Corbett (October 15, 1937 – December 24, 2012) was the owner of the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball's American League from 1974 to 1980.[1] Corbett was born in the Bronx in 1937. He was later part owner of S&B Technical Products, headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. Originally from Long Island, New York, Corbett had made a fortune in the oil business by producing and selling plastic PVC piping. He had moved to Fort Worth, Texas in 1968 and within two years had become a millionaire at the age of 32 after first securing a $300,000 Small Business Administration loan. In 1974 he bought the Rangers from owner Bob Short. Serving as (in effect) his own general manager, he quickly set about spending a great deal of money on free agent players. This was during the advent of the free agency era and soon Corbett had signed such high-priced players as Bert Campaneris, Doyle Alexander, Doc Medich, Richie Zisk and Mike Jorgensen and traded for expensive talent like Bobby Bonds, Al Oliver and Jon Matlack.

Despite never making the postseason, Texas finished in second place three times under Corbett’s ownership. The ’77 club won 94 games, the most in team history until 1999.[2] The Team's winning percentage under him was .521, better than the winning percentages under most owners. [3]


He cried openly after the Rangers lost on July 4, 1977 [4] and told the assembled news media, "I'm selling this team because it's killing me! They are dogs on the field and they are dogs off the field." Corbett would often fire managers (the Rangers had four managers in the 1977 season). Corbett inherited Billy Martin as his first manager when he purchased the team from Martin's personal friend, Robert Short. Martin became upset with Corbett's interference with his managing in 1975, thus prompting Martin to state, "You know as much about baseball as I do about pipe" [5]). Shortly thereafter he sold the team to another self-made oil man, Eddie Chiles.

He died at his home in Fort Worth in 2012.[6]

Sources[edit]

  • "Huffing and Puffing in Texas" Sports Illustrated. August 7, 1978 [2]
  • The Impossible Takes A Little Longer by Phil Rogers. Dallas: Taylor Publishing Co., 1990.
  • Seasons in Hell by Mike Shropshire.
  • The Baseball Hall of Shame Volume 2.
  • The Complete Handbook of Baseball 1980.
  • "Rangers Ownership Through the Years" Fort Worth Star-Telegram. December 16, 2009.