SBJ/September 30 - October 6, 2002/Other News

New view for the Brew Crew

Milwaukee lawyer Ulice Payne was hired to bring quick changes to troubled team.

The Milwaukee Brewers last week became the first team in Major League Baseball to have an African-American president when it hired local lawyer Ulice Payne Jr.

Payne replaces Wendy Selig-Prieb, who expressed a desire to step down from her position several weeks ago, according to a story on the team's Web site.

Selig-Prieb took over the day-to-day operations of the Brewers in 1998 after her father, Bud Selig, was named baseball's commissioner. Selig-Prieb will stay with the Brewers as chairwoman of the team's board of directors and will work on community relations projects.

Before joining the Brewers, Payne, 47, was a managing partner at Foley & Lardner. While he has no prior experience in baseball management, Payne, a former basketball star on Marquette's 1977 NCAA championship team, has been a prominent figure in Milwaukee sports. He's chairman of the Bradley Center & Entertainment Corp. and was a member of the board of the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District, the group that oversaw construction of Miller Park.

In his new position, Payne will be responsible for overseeing a turnaround for the team, which hasn't had a winning season in 10 years. Among his first moves as team president was the introduction last week of Doug Melvin as the Brewers' new general manager. Melvin replaces Dean Taylor, who was hired by the Brewers in 1999.

"We need to be more competitive on the field next year," Payne said. "We can't expect fans to wait three years for a turnaround."

Selig-Prieb could not be reached at press time.

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