Since 1951, Minor League Baseball pays tribute to one of its own by naming them the King of Baseball at the Baseball Winter meeting's annual dinner. This award recognizes a minor league professional's longtime commitment and service to the game of baseball. This year one of the Sea Dogs' own was the subject of this tribute. In fact, the first person employed by the Sea Dogs won the award.
Charlie Eshbach has been in minor league baseball since 1974 and the Eastern League since 1975. Over the course of his 40 years in the minors, Eshbach has filled a number of roles in the Eastern League. After spending 11 years and earning the Warren Giles Award as Eastern League President, he took on the role of the Sea Dogs President in 1992.
Under Eshbach's guidance, the Sea Dogs have attracted a steady fan base, placing the seadogs among the Eastern league's leaders in attendance. The Sea Dogs received baseball America's 1999 Freitas Award that honors minor league baseball's best operations. Proving that the Sea Dogs know how to contribute to the community, promote baseball, contribute to the league and build franchise stability garnered the John H. Johnson President's Trophy for complete baseball franchise in 2000.
In addition, in 1994 and 2002 Eshbach received the Eastern League Executive of the year. The successful Sea Dogs' Strike Out Cancer in Kids program was co-founded by Eshbach in 1995.
The 2014 Sea Dogs' season opens on the road on April 3 against the Reading Phillies. Fans can see the boys of Portland at Hadlock on April 10 at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are available at (207) 879-9500 or www.seadogs.com.
Remember to bring your glove and I'll see you there.