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Sunday, May 8, 2022

Dottie Elsea stepped in as Kingsport team president, later became team GM

The Kingsport Mets front office needed someone to step up for 1986, after the team's president got sick and club secretary Dottie Elsea proved that person, The Kingsport Times-News wrote.

She quickly stepped in - even ordering new bases, which she'd never thought about. Along the way, she took the club to team-record attendance. For her efforts, she won league Executive of the Year honors, The Times-News wrote.

"I'm absolutely elated," Elsea told The Times-News of the honor. "It's more than I could ever have imagined. It makes all the sweat and tears worthwhile - and that's about what it was, sweat and tears."

Elsea's connection to local Kinsport baseball going back to the 1970s, when the Braves were in town, largely as a volunteer.

She got to see players come and go. In 1981, one of those players was Kevin Mitchell. In June 1989, as Mitchell lit up the National League with the Giants, Elsea recalled the "bubbly kid" who once played in Kingston, The Times-News wrote.

"He's probably one of the friendliest players who have ever been through here," Elsea, who had previously been the Kingsport club's secretary, recalled to The Times News. "Everybody liked him and he liked everybody. He wanted to be everybody's friend."

Through her work with the Mets in Kingsport, Elsea even got herself a ring in 1986 after the major league Mets won the World Series.

Elsea continued as team president in 1987, and 1988. She added the title general manager for 1989, and even had to hire two uniform policemen in a July series after a controversy.  

For 1990, she even became an official Mets employee as team general manager. That June, she confirmed the assignment of two top Mets draft picks, Aaron Ledesma and Micah Franklin, to Kingsport, The Times-News wrote.

"I just talked to Mets' scout Daraka Shaheed, who signed both players, and it's been confirmed that they are coming to Kingsport," Elsea told The Times-News. "I've got their arrival times and flight numbers so I guess that's as definite as it gets."

Elsea stayed on as GM through the end of the season, then, in a decision the booster club opposed, the Mets didn't bring her back.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,909
Made the Majors:1,301-33.3%
Never Made Majors:2,608-66.7%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:528
10+ Seasons in the Minors:326

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