TROY — Bill Gladstone, Principal Owner and Chairman of the Tri-City ValleyCats in Troy, passed away on April 30, from COVID-19 complications. He was 88 years old.
Bill 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.
In 1970, he 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.
Gladstone was a cornerstone in the New York-Penn League since 1992, when he bought the ValleyCats, then the Pittsfield Mets, before they became a part of the Houston Astros organization in 2001. During his tenure, the team won three New York-Penn League Championships, the most previous of them in 2018.
“Bill 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.”
Former Tri-City manager Jason Bell offered his condolences on Twitter, upon hearing the announcement. “I always appreciated his belief in me,” Bell remembered, “and the meeting we had after I managed my first professional game where he gave me entree tickets as a memorable souvenir. I’m glad I could be a part of his last championship and I will never forget the amount of joy that brought him.”
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 last 30 years. 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.
Bill 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. Bill and Millie 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.
Tri-City will now try to keep moving forward, while they await a resolution from the Major League owners and the Major League Baseball Players’ Association, as they continue to negotiate proposals to start the 2020 season in these unprecedented times.