Founding president of Portland Sea Dogs Charlie Eshbach dies at 70

Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 11:27 AM EDT
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(WMTW) - The founding president and general manager of the Portland Sea Dogs has died.

Charlie Eshbach, 70, died following a lengthy illness, the Sea Dogs announced in a release on Tuesday.

Eshbach had a 45-year career in Minor League Baseball and was hired by the team’s founder Dan Burke to return professional baseball to Portland in 1994. It was the first time the city had a professional game since 1949.

He remained the team’s president and general manager through the 2010 season and continued to serve as president until 2018 when he stepped down after 25 years.

“Charlie Eshbach was the heart and the brains behind the Portland Sea Dogs, advising our father Dan Burke as he worked to bring the team to Portland. His wise counsel and good humor will be dearly missed by all who counted on him for advice and support. We are deeply saddened by his passing and our hearts go out to Ann-Marie and his entire family,” Bill Burke and Sally McNamara said in a statement.

The Sea Dog’s first season under Eshbach’s leadership brought in 375,000 fans. The team has also garnered numerous awards over the years including the Freitas Award and the John H. Johnson President’s Trophy.

Among his long list of accomplishments, Eshbach co-founded Strike Out Cancer in Kids, which has raised over $5 million for the Maine Children’s Cancer Program.

The Portland Sea Dogs inducted him into their Hall of Fame in 2018.

He is survived by his wife, Ann-Marie, and sons Brian and Scott, along with grandchildren Charlie and Audrey Eshbach.

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