LYNN, Mass. -- After more than four decades working at all levels of baseball, Bill Terlecky has announced that he will retire from his position as general manager of the North Shore Navigators at the conclusion of the 2019 season.
The Futures Collegiate Baseball League Executive of the Year, Terlecky returned to the Navs in a full capacity this year after taking a medical leave of absence in 2018. He came to Lynn after spending decades in the professional and summer collegiate ranks.
“I have always said that I would keep doing this job as long as I was physically able to,” said Terlecky, “and while I never thought it would get to that point, I can no longer do the job the way I like to do it and the way it needs to be done. I can no longer be the face of the franchise. With that being the case, I told (Navigators owner Pat Salvi) about a month ago it was time for me to step down following the 2019 season.”
Terlecky’s 41-year career in the game includes the last eight as the Navs’ leader. Since being hired by Salvi as the team moved into the FCBL in 2012, Terlecky has been the lead force behind transforming baseball in Lynn.
Attendance at Fraser Field has climbed each year during Terlecky’s tenure, with an average of more than 1,200 fans attending games since 2017. The Navs earned Organization of the Year honors in 2015 and 2018, while this year’s club has earned a postseason berth for the first time since 2016.
“Over the years Bill has been nothing but an advocate for players, fans and especially for the Futures League. He is a great ambassador for the game of baseball.” Said former Futures League Commissioner Chris Hall. “With all of his years of experience and his wit and his charm he has been nothing but a great friend to me and to everyone involved in the league. He is a great father and a great human being. I know the last couple of years have been tough on Bill but all he does is show up at the ballpark every day and prepare his team and staff to give the fans and sponsors the great baseball experience that they deserve. The Futures League owes Bill a tremendous amount of gratitude as he is a big reason we have been able to grow into the #1 league in New England. Every GM, coach, owner and other staff all rely on Bill and his expertise. I know that I would not have survived the 8 years without his guidance. He's been a huge asset to all of us. I'm very lucky to call Bill Terlecky my friend.” Added Hall.
Throughout his time on the North Shore, Terlecky has been a pillar in the community. He is on the Lynn Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and has been a fixture at local little league parades and other events. He also earned Bridgewell’s Employment Supports Program Champion Award last year for his work supporting individuals with disabilities in the community.
“Finishing my career with the Navigators and meeting all of the wonderful people in the Lynn community who have been so overwhelmingly supportive of my battle could not have been a better way to close the curtains on 41 seasons,” Terlecky said. “Eight years of so much fun at Fraser Field was something special for me, for sure.”
Terlecky began his career in 1978 when he was hired by the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings at the Baseball Winter Meetings. He worked for the team when it played the longest game in professional baseball history at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, R.I., and was named co-general manager in 1981 at 27 years old.
“If you want to know what type of man Bill is all you have to do is talk to his staff or listen to how they speak about him. The respect that he has earned throughout the baseball community is overwhelming.” Said Futures League Commissioner Joe Paolucci. “For me, he has been a great mentor. He tells me exactly what is on his mind and he doesn't sugar coat anything, but he always does it with respect and integrity. The Navigators organization is in great hands going forward because of the winning culture he has created and the leadership that he has displayed.”
In addition, he was the GM for the Williamsport Bills during the infamous “Potato Game” in 1987, opened the state-of-the-art Lackawanna County Stadium for the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons in 1989, and hosted the Triple-A All-Star Game in 1995. Terlecky was named the International League Executive of the Year in 1991 and earned the Fred Cashen Award as the New York Mets organization’s top executive in 2003.
“I've been so lucky to do something I love for 41 years,” said Terlecky. “There is no time to be sad because looking back I realize that I am truly lucky to meet so many friends who I have shared so many good times with. After 41 years of work, it is time to go to the beach!”
Salvi is proud to have had Terlecky leading the Navs for his entire tenure as the team’s owner.
Story Credit: Josh Kummins, North Shore Navigators Media