Orlando, FL- Minor League Baseball has named Portland Sea Dogs President Charlie Eshbach the 2013 "King of Baseball". The honor was announced Thursday evening at the Baseball Winter Meetings bnaquet in Orlando, Florida.
The "King of Baseball" is a long-standing tradition in which Minor League Baseball salutes a veteran from the professional baseball world for long-time dedication and service.
Eshbach celebrated his 40th season in Minor League Baseball in 2013. He has served as the Sea Dogs President since the teams' inception in the fall of 1992. Prior to joining the Sea Dogs he served 11 years as Eastern League President and was presented the inaugural Warren Giles Award for outstanding service as a league president in 1984. During his time as league president, Eshbach served a three year term on the Executive Committee of Minor League Baseball and served as interim President of Minor League Baseball in 1988.
Eshbach began his career in Minor League Baseball in 1974 with the Elmira Pioneers (NY-Penn League). In 1975 he joined the Bristol Red Sox, Boston's Double-A team in the Eastern League. Having served in the Eastern League since 1975, Eshbach is the longest serving active member of the league. Eshbach also served as General Manager of the Reading Phillies in 1978.
Under Eshbach's leadership the Sea Dogs have been one of the Eastern League's model franchises. In the teams' inaugural season in 1994, the Sea Dogs led the league in attendance attracting over 375,000 fans and consistently rank among the league's attendance leaders. The Sea Dogs were awarded the 1999 Freitas Award, which is presented by Baseball America to honor the best operators in Minor League Baseball. In 2000, the Sea Dogs won the John H. Johnson President's Trophy, which is Minor League Baseball's top honor presented to the complete baseball franchise based upon franchise stability, contributions to the league, contributions to baseball in the community and promotion of the baseball industry.
In 1995, Eshbach co-founded the Strike Out Cancer in Kids program which has raised over $4,000,000 for the Maine Children's Cancer program. Eshbach was honored as the Eastern League Executive of the Year in 1994 and 2002.
Eshbach and his wife Ann-Marie live in Falmouth and have two sons, Brian and Scott.
The Sea Dogs open the 2014 season on the road in Reading, Pennsylvania on April 3rd. The home opener is set for Thursday, April 10th at 6:00 PM against the New Britain Rock Cats. Tickets for the 2014 season are currently on sale and can be purchased by calling the Sea Dogs Ticket Office at 207-879-9500 or online at www.seadogs.com. Book your nine inning vacation!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.