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Career Day

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Jimmie Lee Solomon (2004 BHM Piece)

Courtesy: Gene Duffey / Special to

ROSENBERG, Texas -- More than 35 years have come and gone since Jimmie Lee Solomon walked the halls of Lamar Consolidated High School outside Houston, where he was an all-district running back and dreamed of playing in the NFL.

On Tuesday, Solomon was back at his alma mater speaking to students on the school's Career Day.

Signed by the Houston Oilers as a free-agent wide receiver out of Dartmouth College, Solomon's NFL career was rather brief. "I was cut after two weeks," he said. A couple other rookies that year lasted a little longer, namely Earl Campbell and quarterback Gifford Nielsen.

Solomon enrolled at Harvard Law School, and after 10 years at a Washington law firm, where he worked his way up to partner, he left to become director of Minor League operations for Major League Baseball. Commissioner Bud Selig later promoted Solomon to senior vice president of baseball operations and then promoted him again in 2005 to his present role as executive vice president of baseball operations.

"I hated every second," Solomon said of his career in law. "I decided to get back into sports."

Solomon, now 53, had considered working with the NFL before meeting then-Commissioner Fay Vincent at a party in 1991. Within two weeks, he was beginning his career in baseball, leading to his key message for the students: Being prepared when the right opportunity comes along to lead to success.

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