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Fred Claire, Former Dodgers Executive, Talks Kids and Money

by Team Sammy

Fred Claire

About Fred

I am very excited to announce that in our next Sammy Rabbit – Centsai Money Cents for Kids column we will be featuring insights from former Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager, Fred Claire. Read the full interview.

Fred joined the Dodgers in 1969 and had a distinguished 30-year career with the club. He worked his way up the organization advancing from publicity director to Executive Vice President and general manager, where he had responsibility for player personnel decisions and baseball operations.

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. He was instrumental in creating the branding that came to be known as “Dodger Blue” and the subsequent “Think Blue” campaign.

In 1988 the Dodgers won the World Series with Claire as general manager. Fred was rewarded for his great work by being selected Major League Baseball’s(MLB) “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).

During Claire’s time as Executive VP and general manager, the Dodger teams had the third best winning percentage in Major League Baseball. In the final four seasons of his tenure the team reached the post-season twice (1995 and 1996) and was leading its division when the strike halted play in 1994.

Since leaving the Dodgers in June of 1998, Claire has maintained an active schedule. He is an educator; served as instructors at both California Institute of Technology and the University of Southern California; is a founding partner and current chairman of the sports analytics company Scoutables; a contributor to; and advisor to Baseball New Zealand.

Claire also co-authored a book on his career with sports writer Steve Springer titled: “Fred Claire: My 30 Years in Dodger Blue”.

In addition to his career related activities, Fred is very involved giving back to the community. His charitable and civic efforts include:

  • Creation of the Fred Claire Celebrity Golf Classic, benefiting City of Hope in Duarte, CA. The City of Hope is an independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. TAKE NOTE: Fred’s charity tournament is scheduled for August 20 at Oakmont Country Club in Glendale.
  • Being a member of the board of directors of the Rose Bowl Operating Company and the Los Angeles Sports Council
  • Advisory positions with the Special Olympics of Southern California and the First Tee program of Pasadena
  • Serving Major League Baseball in a number of capacities, including a role as a member of the Board of Directors for MLB Properties, as a member of the Broadcast Advisory Group and as a member of the Baseball Operations Committee.

Before joining the Dodgers, Claire spent 12 years in the newspaper field as a sports editor, columnist and baseball writer for the Long Beach Press-Telegram, the Pomona Progress-Bulletin and the Whittier Daily News.

Claire graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. He holds an Associate of Arts degree from Mt. San Antonio College and was honored as a member of the college’s Athletics Hall of Fame. In March of 2000, Claire was inducted into the California Community College Sports Hall of Fame.

Key Insights Kids and Money

My interview with Fred on kids and money will post Tuesday, June 26 on Centsai. In the mean-time, here is one of the key insights Fred provided and how it compares to the thoughts of some of the other people interviewed for the column over the past six months.

UPDATE: Full article posted. Read interview here.

Fred Claire

Serving Major League Baseball in a number of capacities, including a role as a member of the Board of Directors for MLB Properties, as a member of the Broadcast Advisory Group and as a member of the Baseball Operations Committee.

"...The most important money habit I learned early in my life was the pure joy of having a job and earning my own money. Even as a youngster, I saw that earning money created opportunities to have a certain amount of freedom for things I wanted to do without asking for help from my parents..."

Jeffrey Hayzlett, CEO of the C-Suite Network and former Chief Marketing Officer of Eastman Kodak
"(I would teach kids) … the value of hard work. Hard work means you get rewarded for it and that you must earn your money. Nothing is ever handed to you… I saved up my hard-earned money to buy my first rifle. I bought it on layaway, too. Also, I saved up to buy my first bike – a banana-seat bike."

Kristy Sisko Wallace, CEO of the Elevate Network

I loved working during the summers. I was an assistant at my dad's dental office during the day and a waitress at night. I worked 7 days a week because I enjoyed what I was doing and appreciated the fact that I could still hang out with friends after work or spend time on the beach in-between shifts. Working so hard during the summer helped me save enough money that I didn't have to work during the school year. This became incredibly important as I was then able to do other activities at school (sports, leadership, etc.) and this helped me get into a great college.

Ginny Gilder, owner of the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, Olympic silver medalist, and founder of Gilder Office for Growth

I was graduating from college. Really, I was just 21. My father had generously paid for my college education. Then I decided to train for the Olympics instead of going out and finding a full-time job. He told me I was on my own financially. I decided to go for it, to pursue my dream, and I figured out how to support myself while I did twice-a-day workouts.

Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.d., President, Loyola Marymount University

When I was young, I had a paper route, delivering papers in a nearby neighborhood via bicycle. It was tough work. I’d pick up a heavy load of papers a couple of miles away, put them into baskets on my bike, and ride back and deliver them. In those days, you had to go door-to-door each month to “collect.” It was on you. You paid for the papers you delivered, so you had to collect from everybody to make your expected earnings.

Gerri Walsh, Senior Vice President, FINRA Investor Education & President, FINRA Investor Education Foundation

The daughter of Irish immigrants, I grew up in a working-class family and learned from an early age that money does not grow on trees and that wants differ dramatically from needs. In part because I never had a regular allowance, I started socking away spare change as a toddler and began looking for ways to earn my own money at age nine. My first job involved covering a portion of a sibling’s paper route for a cut of her collections. That’s when I developed a habit of accompanying my parents to our local bank on Saturdays, where I would deposit a portion of each week’s pay into a passbook savings account. I enjoyed watching the interest compound.

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