Chuck Heeman, a veteran in Arizona baseball, will take over the reins of the Yuma Scorpions.The Yuma Scorpions (independent; Golden Baseball League) named Chuck Heeman as general manager. Heeman follows outgoing President and General Manager Mike Marshall, who on March 18 took over the helm of the GBL’s Chico Outlaws.
Heeman, 50, is a nearly 20-year veteran of Minor and Major League baseball administration. He has served as General Manager for two teams in independent baseball as well as for the Burlington Bees (Low Class A; Midwest League). He has also worked in executive capacities in both independent and affiliated ball.
Heeman comes to Yuma after three years in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. In 2007, Heeman served as Director of Stadium Operations for the Pacific Coast League’s Tucson Sidewinders (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League). He then worked with Major League Baseball’s Arizona Fall League in 2007, as Operations Manager of both the Peoria Javelinas and the Peoria Saguaros. Heeman was promoted from Tucson to the Diamondbacks as Operations Manager in November of 2007 and has been with the Major League club since.
“Coming to Yuma is a tremendous opportunity for me to return to an atmosphere I really enjoy,” Heeman said. “There’s nothing like working in the Major Leagues, but during my time in Phoenix I missed the ‘do it all’ fun of operating a minor league team. Coming to Yuma now is the perfect time and place to get back to my roots. One of the great attractions about Yuma is the element of the Arizona Summer and Winter Leagues. Even beyond the challenge of taking over for Mike, having a virtual year-round baseball environment is something I really look forward to. My best times in this business have been in towns like Yuma, and being able to really get back into my element in such a good situation made this move an easy decision.”
In regards to where he will begin work, Heeman said, “One area where I believe we can make great strides is in working with our Hispanic market. Our affiliation with the Venezuelan Baseball Federation and Golden Glove Professional Baseball, along with the league’s addition of the Tijuana Cimarrones, allows us to really reach out to Yuma’s Hispanic community in ways we hadn’t been able to before. I think (Scorpions Field Manager) Darryl Brinkley is going to have some great resources to put a winning team on the field, and it’ll be fun to watch that happen. My job is to get people to continue to support the Scorpions and give Darryl all the help our staff can. We’ll also explore other uses for Desert Sun Stadium, such as concerts, tournaments, festivals and other opportunities to gain exposure for the facility and for the team. It’s a great ballpark and we need to put it to use."
A native of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Heeman has lived in Arizona since 2004. His wife Mayra is a native of Sinaloa, Mexico and grew up near Cuidad Obregon, Sonora. The couple have four grown children and two grandchildren. Heeman will receive his Bachelor of Science degree in Park and Recreation Management from Arizona State University on May 13, 2010.
Heeman will take over the General Manager role on April 5, moving into the team offices at Desert Sun Stadium. He will also attend the GBL’s league-wide tryout camp in Scottsdale on April 10 and 11 before moving to Yuma to live full-time and operate the Scorpions, the Arizona Summer League and the Arizona Winter League.
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