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; most recently Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton opened in 2005.
What makes the California League special?
The unique thing about the California League is its travel. We're the easiest travel league in the country.
Outside of the Cal League, what's your favorite Minor League ballpark?
That one in Dayton (Fifth Third Field). I was very impressed with that. It's right downtown and laid out well, with great concessions.
Who is the best player you've seen come through the California League?
Oh man, why did you have to ask me that? How can I pick between guys like Reggie Jackson, Rollie Fingers, Mark McGwire?
What's the one initiative you'd like to see accomplished before your term ends in 2010?
Finishing out with all new ballparks.
What's your favorite offseason activity?
I don't really have one.
Being the league president is...
A very corporate business job today.
What's the best thing about Minor League Baseball?
The fans and the promotions that occur at ballparks today.