The leadership of the Rome Braves has changed hands for just the second time in the team’s history after the Atlanta Braves organization announced the minor league affiliate’s new general manager on Friday.
David Cross, who has served as general manager of the Danville Braves since 2000, takes over as Rome’s third GM in January. The move comes after recent reports surfaced that Jim Bishop had resigned following two years as vice president and general manager of the Class A club.
“David has been a proven leader in our organization, and I expect he will continue to do so for the Rome Braves,” said Chip Moore, executive vice president of Braves minor league operations and special projects. “We look forward to having him take his many years of experience and implement (the) best practices for the club.”
A native of Newport News, Virginia, Cross spent the last 20 seasons as general manager of the Danville Braves, which are Atlanta’s Advanced Rookie affiliate.
He was named Appalachian League Executive of the Year in 2003 and 2008, and won the league’s Promotional Award of Excellence in 2004 and 2006. Danville won the 2017 Appalachian League Organization of the Year.
“We have called Danville home for almost 20 years so this is bittersweet,” Cross said in a release from the Braves. “This community has so many great people and I will miss that the most, but I look forward to starting in Rome and helping them continue their excellent tradition.”
Cross began his career in baseball in the ticket department of the Richmond Braves in 1998 and spent the 1999 season as the group sales manager with the Winston-Salem Warthogs of the Carolina League.
Bishop had been named the Rome Braves’ VP and GM in September, 2017, after serving 22 years as the assistant general manager of the Braves’ Class AA affiliate in Mississippi.
His resignation was revealed in a statement from Moore this week that said Bishop was leaving the Braves “to pursue other opportunities.”
“We are incredibly thankful for Jim’s two-plus decades with our organization and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors,” Moore said.
The change comes as the Rome Braves prepare for a busy offseason and 2020 season, which will include hosting the South Atlantic League All-Star Game at State Mutual Stadium on June 23.
State Mutual Stadium underwent minor improvements and cosmetic facelifts to various areas around the ballpark before the 2019 season but more renovations are expected to be completed prior to the 2020 season as funded by the 2017 Floyd County special purpose, local option sales tax.
The Rome Braves’ 2020 season, which will be the team’s 18th since relocating from Macon, will begin April 9 with a seven-game homestand featuring Hagerstown and Greenville.