Fred Claire ... today
Fred Claire was a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ front office for 30 years, advancing from publicity director of the team to the position of Executive Vice President with responsibility for player personnel decisions and baseball operations.
In a distinguished career with the Dodgers, Fred served the team as a publicity director; vice president of public relations, promotions and marketing; Executive Vice President in charge of day-to-day operations; and Executive Vice President and General Manager in charge of player personnel.
Fred joined the Dodgers in 1969 and he proved to be an award-winning executive at every stage of his career. Claire was directing the team’s marketing efforts when the Dodgers first hit the three-million mark in attendance and established a period of record-setting attendance figures. In April of 1987, he was named general manager of the Dodgers and when the team won the World Series in 1988 he was selected Major League Baseball’s “Executive of the Year” by The Sporting News. Claire became the fifth Dodger executive in the team’s history to win the award, following Larry MacPhail (1939), Branch Rickey (1947), Walter O’Malley (1955) and Buzzie Bavasi (1959).
He is the last Dodger General Manager to deliver a World Championship to the city of Los Angeles.
This past season the Dodgers honored Fred's career by asking him to throw out a ceremonial first pitch prior to the game. To Fred's surprise, prior to the pitch, they played a video to the entire stadium that detailed his many accomplishments throughout his storied time with the organization. With his family shown behind him enjoying the tribute Fred is pictured in a poignant moment where real emotions were on display. Fred hired me as the Dodger team photographer over forty years ago...given the meaning of the moment, his friendship and respect I hold for this gentleman I consider this personally to be one of my most meaningful images I've captured at Chavez Ravine.
I had the opportunity to hire Rich as our team photographer in 1976 and his artistic approach to the game, the stadium and the fans made a major impact to our marketing efforts. Rich's unique talent behind the lens helped us advance our promotional efforts during an era of record-setting attendance.