Indianapolis Indians executive Cal Burleson dies at age 71

Posted at 2:36 PM, Nov 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-09 15:51:56-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Cal Burleson, an executive with the Indianapolis Indians for more than 45 years, died Sunday night from complications due to cancer. He was 71.

A news release from the team said Burleson was diagnosed with cancer in December 2020.

“Cal left an indelible mark on not only the Indians but all of Central Indiana. His legacy extends far beyond the Indians and his passing is felt by so many individuals in professional baseball,” CEO and Chairman of the Board Bruce Schumacher said in a news release.

Burleson was first hired as the team’s ticket manager in 1975 and later served as business manager, publicity director, assistant general manager and general manager.

In later years, he worked as the team’s vice president of baseball and administrative affairs, functioning as Indianapolis’ representative with the Pittsburgh Pirates and International League office, and as senior vice president of community affairs.

During Burleson’s tenure, the Indians won eight league championships in 1982, 1984, 1986-89, 1994 and 2000. The franchise also set attendance records in 2014 and 2015 at Victory Field, where the team moved in 1996 from Bush Stadium.

Burleson is survived by his wife Mai, daughter Heather and two granddaughters.

Team officials said celebration of life arrangements are being finalized and will be shared in the coming days.