Charlie Blaney, Cal League president and longtime Dodgers exec, retires

After 55 years in professional baseball, 32 of them as an executive with the Dodgers, California League president Charlie Blaney announced his retirement on Monday, effective immediately.

Blaney, 83, has served as the president of the Cal League for the last 11 years.

“The timing is right for it to happen,” Blaney said. “It’s time to step down. I see myself being the best husband and grandfather I can be.”

Blaney has 19 grandchildren, including 12 boys who all play baseball so he won’t be away from the game.

“It’s been great. I’ve been going to three games a week,” he said.

With Major League Baseball taking over and restructuring minor league baseball during the last offseason, league presidents are being phased out and replaced by regional supervisors. Blaney remained in his post through the end of May to help in the transition.

“It’s been wonderful. What I’m going to miss the most is working with the various teams, players and umpires,” Blaney said.

Blaney started in professional baseball in 1966 when the Dodgers hired him to work in Albuquerque, which was then the organization’s Double-A affiliate. Blaney went on to spend eight years as a minor league general manager, 13 years as managing director of the Dodgers’ spring training facility, Dodgertown, and 11 years as the Dodgers’ vice president for player development. While in that final job with the Dodgers, the team had five consecutive National League Rookies of the Year winners.

“I also want to thank Peter O’Malley for giving me the opportunity to work for the Dodgers for 32 years, and my wife and family for their tremendous support all through the years,” Blaney said in a press release.

In his career, Blaney was named Executive of the Year in the Texas and Pacific Coast Leagues, and he is in the halls of fame for the Florida State League and Albuquerque Isotopes.

While with the Cal League, Blaney and Carolina League president John Hopkins were presented with the Warren Giles Award in 2016 for aiding in the realignment of High Single-A baseball. He also worked with his son Matt Blaney, who served as the league’s director of operations and marketing. During his tenure, a league hall of fame, a league-wide marketing program and the Doug Harvey Award, given to the league’s top umpire, were created.

“On behalf of all of the owners of California League teams, I would like to thank Charlie for his outstanding service to the league over the past 11 years,” Tom Volpe, vice president of the Cal League board of directors said in a press release. “Integrity, fairness and responsiveness were hallmarks of his tenure. I thoroughly enjoyed my time working with Charlie, will miss him greatly, and I thank him for all of his hard work on behalf of the California League.”