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Nov, 2021

Long Time Board Member Retires

At conclusion of the annual International Board of Directors meeting, Joe Gagliardi made the decision to retire. Gagliardi has been involved with PONY Baseball and Softball for 45 years. He worked his way from a being a manager all the way to an Executive Board member.

Gagliardi joined PONY in 1959 as a manager. His 1960 San Jose, California team won the Colt World series in Ontario, California. This wasn’t his only World Series Championship team. His 1964 Campbell-Moreland, California team won the Pony League World in San Diego, California.

“I worked with a lot of the other directors in Southern California and the other states, so I kind of went out of my way because I enjoy the people and the program,” said Gagliardi.

With Gagliardi’s business growing he unfortunately had to step away from coaching. However, he still wanted to stay on as a director. So Gagliardi began as a Section Director and eventually worked his way up to a Region and Zone Director and ultimately the West Zone Vice President.

Gagliardi is no stranger to the baseball world. He has been involved within the baseball business for over 45 years. He’s owned Minor League teams and was the President of the California League from 1981-2009. During his time as President, Gagliardi accomplished several different things for the league, namely settling all-time attendance records, adding new teams, and building new ballparks. Despite all his success in the professional baseball world, he said working with PONY has always been his favorite.

One thing Gagliardi really appreciates is seeing people join the Board who moved the organization forward, even if that meant that his and the other Board member’s personalities clashed. He recalled how his relationship with former PONY President Lew Hays developed over the years and how they came to mutually respect each other because of their common goal: building PONY into a world-class youth baseball and softball organization.

Gagliardi said he has reached most of his goals with PONY, which have been being a director, manager, and a host of several World Series events. But he said that a continuing goal of his was during his remaining years with the Board is keeping people together and on the same page so one zone doesn’t stray from the PONY mission. He added that since he began his time as a Board member in 1976, he vowed that there would never be controversy from the West Zone and he believes the zone has been a catalyst for PONY.

Taking over the West Zone Vice President position is Steve Workman.

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