Jean Afterman

From BR Bullpen

Jean Afterman is assistant General Manager of the New York Yankees, having succeeded the second woman to hold such a title in baseball history, Kim Ng, in December 2001 (the first had been Elaine Weddington Steward, hired by the Boston Red Sox in 1990). She was previously a player agent, working in particular in representing a number of Japanese star players who moved to the United States, such as Hideki Irabu and Hideo Nomo. With the Yankees, she was instrumental in bringing over Hideki Matsui. She has remained in the position ever since, working closely with Brian Cashman, who himself became the longest-tenured General Manager in Major League Baseball. In 2012, she was given the title of "Senior Vice-President".

In 2019, she was honored by Baseball America with the "Trailblazer Award" for her work in opening paths in baseball front offices for women. That winter, she moved from New York, NY to Sonoma, CA for family reasons, although she kept her functions.

She was born in San Francisco, CA and her first degree, from the University of California, Berkeley was in art history. She then worked for Paramount Studios, after which she obtained a law degree from the University of San Francisco and became an attorney. One of the first cases she worked on involved licensing rights for baseball cards for members of the Player's Association, her background in audio-visual production being useful to the case. She struck a friendship with Don Nomura, who was an attorney for the MLBPA and worked with him on the legal loophole that allowed Nomo to circumvent Japanese Baseball rules to achieve his dream of playing in Major League Baseball. She later became familiar to Cashman and then Yankees owner George Steinbrenner in working to bring Irabu and Alfonso Soriano from Japan to the team, leading to her later hire by the team.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Lindsey Adler: "Yankees exec Jean Afterman wants to see a team hire MLB’s first female GM. She’d just rather it not be her.", The Athletic, Apr. 11, 2019. [1]
  • George King: "2019 Trailblazer Of The Year Award: Jean Afterman", Baseball America, December 2, 2019. [2]