Bill Gladstone photo

Bill Gladstone

Scarsdale resident Bill Gladstone, the Tri-City ValleyCats minor league baseball team chairman and principal owner, died April 30 due to complications from COVID-19. He was 88.

Mr. Gladstone was born and raised in Brooklyn. He joined Arthur Young & Co. after graduating with honors from Lehigh University in 1951. He also earned a bachelor of laws degree 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 from 1952 to 1953, Mr. 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 & Co. with Ernst and Whinney.

In 1970, Mr. Gladstone graduated from the Harvard University Advanced Management Program, and in 1992 he received an Honorary Doctor of Law from Lehigh University. At Lehigh, he endowed the William L. Gladstone Scholarship Fund in 1972 and was part of the campaign for endowment of the Arthur Young-William L. Gladstone section of the Lehigh Library Accounting Collection.

Mr. Gladstone and partners purchased the Pittsfield Mets minor league baseball 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.

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.

“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’.”

Mr. 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. He 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.

Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, released the following statement: “Bill Gladstone’s efforts in support of our National Pastime enriched the baseball community within Central New York and well beyond. With a devotion to baseball and a background in art, Bill provided valued insight to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum as a long time trustee. On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, we loved serving alongside him, and we extend our sympathies to the entire Gladstone family at this difficult time.”

Mr. Gladstone and his wife, Millie, who predeceased him in 2018, 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.

Mr. Gladstone is survived by his daughter, Susan; son, Doug; their spouses and his grandchildren.

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