Idelson, 43, has served as acting president of the institution since March 25 and has served as vice president of communications and education for the Museum since June 1999. He joined the Museum on Sept. 26, 1994, as director of public relations and promotions. Idelson has spent 22 seasons working in baseball.
"The Board of Directors is extremely pleased that Jeff has accepted the appointment as president of the Hall of Fame," said Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the Board of Directors. "He has served the Museum with great success and passion for the last 14 years, and we are very enthusiastic about his leadership and his commitment to growing the institution for many years to come."
Idelson becomes the sixth president in the 69-year history of the organization, following Stephen C. Clark, Sr. — founder of the Hall of Fame and grandfather of current chairman Jane Forbes Clark — Paul Kerr, Edward W. Stack, Donald C. Marr Jr. and Dale A. Petroskey.
In his previous role with the Museum, Idelson oversaw all Hall of Fame elections and awards, internal and external communications, community relations, media relations, publications, public programs, promotions, advertising, artifact acquisition, visitor services, photography and the Museum's Web site. He also oversaw the Museum's college internship program, education department, including on-site programs and point-to-point video conferences taught by area educators. Idelson has also served as the liaison to the Baseball Writers' Association of America, the Hall of Fame's Committee on Baseball Veterans and Major League Baseball's 30 teams and its central office.
"I care deeply about our Museum, its mission and our extremely talented staff," said Idelson. "Building on our foundation of nearly 70 years of success will be a great challenge that I'm very excited about continuing. The Hall of Fame is a national treasure. As a staff, we'll continue to provide an emotional, lasting experience for every fan we touch around the globe."
In addition to his work at the Hall of Fame, Idelson serves as a trustee on the Board of Directors of the Otsego County (N.Y.) Tourism Advisory Board and the Harlem (N.Y.) branch of Reviving Baseball in the Inner City (RBI), and also lends his public relations expertise to several community endeavors, including the Otsego County chapter of the international program Girls On The Run.
Idelson was selected as the 2004 recipient of the prestigious Robert O. Fishel Award for Public Relations Excellence, awarded annually by Major League Baseball to an industry executive who excels in promoting the game. He was also presented the 2006 Leadership and Service Award by Ithaca College's Department of Sports Management and Media for leadership and service to students and the college.
Before joining the Baseball Hall of Fame, Idelson was assistant vice president and senior press officer for World Cup USA 1994, the organizing committee charged with staging the 1994 soccer World Cup in the United States. He served as director of media relations and publicity for the New York Yankees from 1989-1993, after being hired as the club's assistant director of media relations. With the Yankees, Idelson traveled on every road trip, overseeing all aspects of media relations. He interfaced among the players, front office and ownership with the media, acting as team spokesman.
A West Newton, Mass., native and a 1986 graduate of Connecticut College in New London, Conn., (Bachelor of Arts in International Economics), Idelson began his professional career as an intern in the public relations department of the Boston Red Sox in 1986, continuing work in the team's public relations department in 1987-88. He also produced home games for the Red Sox Radio Network (110 stations) in 1987 and 1988, serving as the flagship station's liaison to the Red Sox's primary charity, the Jimmy Fund.