Former Texas Rangers owner Brad Corbett dies

Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

The 75-year-old -- who owned the club for seven seasons -- died peacefully in his sleep Monday night.

Former Texas Rangers owner and oil man Brad Corbett passed away in his sleep on Christmas Eve, reports The Associated Press:

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...

"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."

Corbett -- who made his fortune producing and selling plastic PVC piping to oil companies -- purchased the Texas Rangers in May of 1974 and quickly went about making changes to the club. Effectively serving as his own general manager, Corbett signed several high-priced free agents like Bert Campaneras and Doyle Alexander, but also traded away future Hall-of-Famers Ferguson Jenkins, Gaylord Perry, and Bert Blyleven.

The Rangers finished above .500 in four of the seven seasons with Corbett at the helm -- including a 94-win season in 1977 -- but constant internal struggles (like hiring and firing four managers during the 1977 season) combined with financial hardship forced the plastics man to sell the club at the start of the 1980 season to oil man Eddie Chiles.

Corbett's daughter, Pamela, told the AP that her father had not been ill of late and that his passing was peaceful.

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