NEW YORK — Brad Corbett, whose turbulent tenure as principal owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team brought the franchise Steinbrenner-like hubris and pocketbook diplomacy, but only middling success, died Monday at home in Fort Worth.
Mr. Corbett, 75, who made his fortune manufacturing plastic pipe, was just 36 when he and several other investors bought the Rangers early in 1974 for a reported $9.6 million and the assumption of $1 million in debt. The team, which had moved to Arlington, Texas, two years earlier — had just suffered through consecutive 100-loss seasons. But, managed by Billy Martin and led by pitcher Ferguson Jenkins and a young slugger, Jeff Burroughs, they went 84-76, good enough for second place in the American League West division.
During the next few seasons, Mr. Corbett became a whirlwind wheeler-dealer. He spent freely to acquire free agents, if not always wisely.
He wrote big checks to aging stars such as Bert Campaneris and players of questionable value like Richie Zisk, Jim Sundberg, and Doc Medich.
He sold the team in 1980. During his six-year stewardship, the Rangers had four winning seasons.
Bradford Gary Corbett was born in the Bronx, N.Y.