Astros Minor League Owner Bill Gladstone Dies from COVID-19 Complications at 88

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 1, 2020

JUPITER, FL - MARCH 07: The Houston Astros logo on the arm of their jersey during a spring training baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on March 7, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. The Cardinals defeated the Astros 5-1. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Houston Astros' Single-A short-season affiliate the Tri-City ValleyCats announced Friday team owner Bill Gladstone died at the age of 88 as a result of complications related to COVID-19. 

"Bill Gladstone left an indelible mark on the game of baseball and the ValleyCats organization," ValleyCats President Rick Murphy said. "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.'"

Gladstone bought the team in 1992 when they were known as the Pittsfield Mets. The minor league club was affiliated with the New York Mets through 2000, after which it became part of the Astros' minor league system. The team won three New York-Penn League titles under his watch.

Gladstone's decorated resume includes serving in the U.S. Air Force as a second lieutenant in the Korean War, graduating with honors from Lehigh University, earning a degree from the Harvard University Advanced Management Program and becoming a co-chief executive of Ernst and Young.

He was also a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum board of directors following his election in 1991.

Gladstone is survived by his son, Doug, his daughter, Susan, their spouses and his grandchildren. He was married for over 60 years to his wife, Millie, who died in 2018.