004: Leadership, Tough Decisions, and Battling Cancer with Fred Claire

It’s with great pleasure that we bring on Fred Claire, former General Manager and Executive Vice-President of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Most notably, Fred orchestrated the 1988 World Series Championship team. He continued his historic run through June of 1998.

While Fred (or Mr. Claire as some call him) admits to not having the skill to play baseball, his love for the sport grew into a position – and a 30-year career with the Dodgers.

Since then, he’s maintained an active schedule as a columnist and analyst for MLB.com.

He also has served as an instructor at the University of Southern California and as a consultant to companies involved in sports. Fred serves on the advisory board for the Sports Management graduate program at California State University, Long Beach and is a lecturer in Social Sciences, Humanities, and Social Services at California Institute of Technology.

Fred is a member of the board of directors of the Rose Bowl Operating Company and is also holds board of director positions for the Special Olympics of Southern California; the Los Angeles Sports Council; and Life Skills FORE Pasadena Youth, Inc.

Fred is the co-founder of Scoutables, which is revolutionizing the way professional sports organizations manage financial risk around the most valuable financial assets.

But what may be more impressive than the numerous business and leadership success Fred has achieved over the years is his recent battle with cancer.

At City Of Hope Fred has 28 lymph nodes and nerve endings in his jaw bone removed through surgery followed by 33 radiation treatments and seven rounds of chemotherapy.

Fred came out the other side with a new appreciation for the teamwork that it takes to treat cancer, and in Fred-fashion has turned his focus to raising awareness and funds for City Of Hope through the Fred Claire Celebrity Golf Classic.

A couple things to listen for in this episode:

  • A controversial decision Fred had to make in the 80’s
  • How the strike of 1994 and a World Series loss changed the MLB
  • What clubhouses, players, and free-agents should think about when it comes to joining a team
  • How his love for the sport (but lack of skill) helped Fred shape a career in the Major League
  • The secret to the Dodgers success
  • If you’re at the end of your athletic career: what you should be thinking about and be doing
  • The one thing you should be thinking about in your sports career
  • A new technology that’s quickly revolutionizing the way sports organizations manage their financial risk


  • “One game could make a difference.” – Fred Claire
  • “The only thing I wanted to do was do the job I was assigned to do to the best of my ability.” – Fred Claire
  • “The fundamentals of teamwork are the same ingredient in any successful business.” – Fred Claire
  • “The most important aspect you have in business is your integrity.” – Fred Claire
  • “Enjoy every moment, because it will be gone in the blink of an eye.” – Fred Claire
  • “There’s an advantage when the spotlight is on you.” – Fred Claire
  • “When the phone rings. We answer the phone.” – Fred Claire
  • “As our world changes, some of the fundamentals get lost.” – Fred Claire

Resources Mentioned:

Books Fred Mentioned (Amazon links):

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