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Leader of Atlantic League baseball dies

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Joe Klein
Joe Klein - (Photo / )

A long-time leader of the independent baseball league that includes the Lancaster Barnstormers and York Revolution died early Wednesday.

Joe Klein, executive director of the Atlantic League since its inception in 1998, died at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia.

Klien, who was 75, died as the result of complications from heart surgery, the Atlantic League announced.

Klein spent time as a player, manager, scout, scouting director and farm director before serving as general manager of the Texas Rangers (1983-84), Cleveland Indians (1986-87) and Detroit Tigers (1994-95).

His playing career included three seasons in York with the White Roses, from 1965 to 1967.

The Atlantic League began in 1998, and grew in popularity during Klein's time with the league, adding new teams in the Barnstormers (in 2005) and then the Revolution in 2007.

"Our Atlantic League family has lost one of its greatest champions, and we're saying goodbye to an amazing friend and baseball man," York Revolution President Eric Menzer said in a statement from the team. "Joe was an integral part of the success of the sport he loved here in York. We owe him a lot and will miss him greatly."

The Revolution team plans to honor Klein with a moment of silence before tonight's 6:30 game against the Somerset Patriots, the team said.

The Barnstormers also are planning a moment of silence to honor Klein before the team's two home games Wednesday night, also starting at 6:30, against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, team General Manager Mike Reynolds said.

Klein was executive director of the Atlantic League from 1998 until his passing.

Klein was preceded in death by his wife, Cathy, and is survived by two sons, two daughters-in-law and a granddaughter.

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David O'Connor

David O'Connor

Dave O'Connor covers York County, manufacturing, higher education, nonprofits, and workforce development. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at Follow him on Twitter, @DaveOC_CPBJ.

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Jere Strittmatter August 24, 2017 9:08 am

Thank you for highlighting the wonderful life and career of Joe Klein, Dave.

Our York Red Roses Number 7 became the General Manager of the Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians, and the Detroit Tigers. And, the Executive Director of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball for 20 years.

A leader, a problem solver, and an outstanding ambassador of America's sport.

I can still see his friendly smile and hear his contagious laugh.

Joe Klein is missed.

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