Countdown to Opening Day 2008
California League preview
10 names to know
Old meets new in the Cal League
By the Numbers
Joe Gagliardi became president of the California League in 1982. Steady increases in attendance and profitability have been the hallmark of his tenure. Many of the clubs in the league have also opened new ballparks during the Gagliardi reign, including Stockton as recently as 2005.
Where will you be on Opening Day?
I'm probably going to be somewhere in the Southern Division, but I haven't picked which site I'm going out to yet.
What are you most looking forward to in the 2008 season?
Just the season starting. I hit every ballclub by taking one spin throughout the whole league.
Which Minor League player would you pay to watch play this year?
I have no clue. They've got their job, and I've got mine. I just never single out any one player.
What is one little-known fact about being a league president?
It's just a business position now. It's not so much fining and suspending ballplayers, but you're more like a corporate officer, taking care of business in the league.
What is your favorite part about being league president?
Dealing with the owners and whatever problems occur during the season.
What would you be doing if you didn't work in baseball?
I've got other jobs. I'm a closed-circuit boxing promoter. I've got other activities that keep me busy. I just don't do baseball.
What's your favorite Minor League promotion?
There are so many good ones. I don't have any favorites, but teams do the promotions for the fans much better than they did 10 years ago. They are very creative.
What is your favorite Minor League memory?
Getting a pie thrown in my face back when we opened up for the High Desert Mavericks on Opening Day in Adelanto, Calif. [in 1991]. I made a statement the year before that I would eat crow pie if we went to Adelanto.
Have you ever witnessed a no-hitter? If so...when and where?
I think I have. It was a seven-inning no-hitter, but I don't remember what year it was or where.
If I were a Minor League mascot, I would be...
I wouldn't be a mascot.
John Torenli is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.