PHILADELPHIA — Joe Klein, who was a general manager for three Major League Baseball teams before spending the last two decades as executive director of the independent Atlantic League, has died. He was 75.
The Atlantic League said Klein died Wednesday at Temple University Hospital after complications from heart surgery.
Klein had been with the league since its inception in 1997, when he became executive director a year before teams started play.
League founder Frank Boulton says there is a “great hole in the heart of the Atlantic League.”
Klein began his pro baseball career as a minor league infielder with the Washington Senators from 1962 to ’68. He stayed in the organization as a minor league manager and team executive for 16 more years, including after the franchise’s move to Texas in 1972. He was the Rangers’ general manager from October 1982 until November 1984.
He later served as GM for the Cleveland Indians (1986-87) and Detroit Tigers (1994-95).