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Valley Blue Sox Announce New Ownership

SPRINGFIELD — The Valley Blue Sox announced that Hadley native Fred Ciaglo has taken over the reins as team owner and president from the departing Clark Eckhoff.

Ciaglo has been a long-time part of the Valley Blue Sox, hosting players for the past seven years and as a bench coach for the last four years. He has been involved with baseball in the Valley since he was able to throw a ball, playing at Hopkins Academy in Hadley and then at Springfield College, helping pitch the Pride to the 1986 Northeast-10 championship when the school competed in Division II athletics.

Ciaglo was a staple of the Tri-County Baseball League for more than 20 years, twice winning the league’s Wes Carr Trophy for best pitcher. He has taught and coached at Hopkins Academy since graduating from Springfield, coaching boys and girls basketball as well as baseball over that time; in addition, he spent a decade as Hadley Youth Baseball’s coaching coordinator and on the board of directors for the Cal Ripken level.

“We wish the best to Clark and his family,” said Ciaglo. “During their tenure, the Valley Blue Sox won their first championship in franchise history, hosted a successful All-Star weekend at Mackenzie Stadium, and were very supportive of the growth of both the franchise and the game locally.”

Vice President and General Manager Hunter Golden will stay on with the team and remain in his role. Also returning this season will be Manager John Raiola, who will return for his fourth season as head coach, as well as pitching coach Jim Woods. Joining the coaching staff, former Blue Sox player Hezekiah Randolph will serve as hitting coach for the team.

“I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to achieve under Clark,” said Golden. “I’m very excited to see the baton passed to Fred and look forward to seeing things elevated to the next level. He’s a true baseball man through and through, and I’ve got every confidence in his ability as the next steward of this franchise.”

Added Ciaglo, “everything that people have come to know and love about the team — from the people to the day to day — will remain the same. We’re looking forward to adding more to the fan experience in the coming years, continuing to develop Mackenzie Stadium, and keep the ball moving forward. We’ve made progress every year that I’ve been involved with the franchise, and I’m looking forward to continuing that growth and giving fans something new to look for every season.”

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