BILLINGS — The Pioneer Baseball League has named former Baltimore Orioles executive Michael Shapiro as its new president.

Shapiro was unanimously elected to the position, the league announced in a press release. Jim McCurdy, league president for the past 27 years, will remain as senior vice president.

Shapiro most recently served as the executive vice president for planning and development for the Orioles. Prior to that, Shapiro was senior vice president for business affairs with the Washington Nationals and vice president and general counsel for the San Francisco Giants.

He also was senior counsel for the Atlanta Braves and vice president of business affairs for Turner Sports.

In 2021, the Pioneer League will operate as an independent partner league of Major League Baseball; the league's teams were not tendered professional development licences after the expiration of the 30-year Professional Baseball Agreement in September.

"I am honored to have been selected as the president of the Pioneer League," Shaprio stated in the league's release. "This is an exciting time for the league as it transitions from an affiliated league to an MLB partner league.

"I can’t imagine a more thrilling opportunity than to help further develop and grow the league into a unique vehicle for player development while continuing to provide our local communities with wonderful and affordable family entertainment."

A 96-game schedule in 2021 begins May 22.

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