Branch Rickey served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Venezuela from 1967-9

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Venezuela: Peace Corps Venezuela : The Peace Corps in Venezuela: Branch Rickey served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Venezuela from 1967-9

By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, June 27, 2001 - 9:33 am: Edit Post

Branch Rickey served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Venezuela from 1967-9

Branch B. Rickey President Hired in 1997

Branch B. Rickey was elected President of the Pacific Coast League in August 1997 when the Triple-A classification reorganized from three leagues into two. He had been serving since 1991 as President of another Triple-A league, the American Association, which dissolved in favor of the realignment.

Prior to his involvement as a league president, Branch had spent over twenty years in major league baseball, in player development with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds, as a scout, as an Assistant Scouting Director during the 70’s, and in the 80’s as Director of Player Development.

He began his professional career with the Pirates in 1963, at the age of 17 when he became Business Manager of their rookie league affiliate in the Appalachian League, at Kingsport, Tennessee. He worked with Pirate rookie teams during the summers while pursuing his college degree at Ohio Wesleyan University. Following graduation with a degree in Philosophy, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Venezuela from 1967-9, then as a college campus recruiter for the Peace Corps, and subsequently as a U.S. regional recruitment director in 1971.

He returned to professional baseball in 1972 as Assistant Director of the Kansas City Royals Baseball Academy in Sarasota, Florida. The Academy was a major league experiment to take teenage players with overall athletic skill and develop them into major league players. When the Academy was closed by the Royals in 1974, Branch rejoined the Pirates.

Both his grandfather and father were front office executives with St. Louis, Brooklyn and Pittsburgh. His grandfather is enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame and is, generally, best remembered for signing Jackie Robinson to the Dodgers, thereby breaking the color barrier in 1947. His grandfather is also credited with the founding of the “farm system”, the introduction of the protective baseball helmet, the establishment of new training techniques and instructional programs, and for having forced baseball into expansion beyond the level of 16 major league teams. His father was the Farm Director of the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940’s and then the Pirates in the 1950’s until his death in 1961.

At Ohio Wesleyan University, Branch played baseball and wrestled, and was co-captain of the Varsity Soccer team. He has officiated International Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, culminating with his participation as a referee in the Olympic Games. He married wife Diane in 1991, and they make their home in Colorado Springs.

Branch has earned rave reviews in each of the past two years in his performance with the Colorado Springs Symphony, reading “Casey At The Bat” during the Festival of the Arts in Sport.

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