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In memoriam: Bill Gladstone

Tri-City ValleyCatsTri-City ValleyCats (Short Season A; NY-Penn League) Chairman and Principal Owner Bill Gladstone passed away yesterday due to COVID-19 complications. He was 88 years old.

Gladstone and partners purchased the Pittsfield Mets franchise in 1992 and maintained the affiliation with the New York Mets through 2000. The team became affiliated with the Houston Astros in 2001 and maintain that relationship currently. Gladstone was instrumental in moving the team to Troy, New York in 2002, a move that brought affiliated baseball back for the Capital Region for the first time since 1994.

“Bill Gladstone left an indelible mark on the game of baseball and the ValleyCats organization,” said ValleyCats President Rick Murphy. “Bill was an inspirational leader, partner and fan of the game. His passion for the game was evident in the ValleyCats motto: ‘Fans For Life’.”

Gladstone was elected to the board of directors for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in 1991 and was heavily involved in the baseball industry for the past three decades. Bill was a member of Minor League Baseball’s Board of Trustees for 12 years, while also serving on the board of directors and executive committee for the New York-Penn League. During his tenure, the Tri-City ValleyCats captured three New York-Penn League titles and consistently finished near the top of the league in various attendance metrics. In 2015, Gladstone was named the “King of Baseball” by Minor League Baseball, a longstanding tradition that recognizes a veteran of professional baseball for outstanding dedication and service to the industry.

He was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. He joined Arthur Young & Company after graduating with honors from Lehigh University in 1951. He also earned a Bachelor of Laws in 1955 from Brooklyn Law School and was admitted to the New York State Bar. Except for time spent serving in the U.S. Air Force as a Second Lieutenant during the Korean War (1952-53), Gladstone spent his entire business career at Arthur Young, becoming a partner in 1963, managing partner in 1981 and chairman in 1985. He became a Co-Chief Executive of Ernst and Young in 1989 after playing a key role in the merger of Arthur Young & Company with Ernst and Whinney.

Bill Gladstone is survived by his daughter, Susan, son, Doug, their spouses, and his beloved grandchildren. His wife of over 60 years, Millie, passed away in 2018. The pair seldom missed a ValleyCats game and could almost always be found taking in the action behind home plate in Section 100. Together they owned a significant collection of baseball art and artifacts, parts of which have been displayed at a number of museums.