Tipping The Cap
Let’s tip our cap to Ron Zollo, who was the longest tenured full time employee in the history of Cheney Stadium. Ron joined the Tacoma Twins in 1972 after one year with the Portland Beavers as a marketing and sales executive. He coupled with Stan Naccarato with Baseball Tacoma, Inc. and transformed the Triple A team into one of the most successful in the entire country. Cheney Stadium was the place for great outdoor baseball, a strong season ticket base and fun promotions for the entire family.
The Z-Man, as he was fondly known, was a passionate baseball fan and knowledgeable about players, statistics and eventually autographed merchandise. He was well known around the country as a collector and authenticator.
Ron established and maintained relationships throughout baseball and was friends with many of the greatest players who played for Tacoma, including Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, Jose Rico and Scott Brosius.
He was the organizer of the first Used Car Night at Cheney Stadium when a used car was given away each inning to a lucky or sometimes unlucky fan! The first time the promotion was held, Joe Garagiola talked about it on the Game of the Week.
When the baseball card and autographed memorabilia business boomed in the late 80’s and 90’s, Ron organized several successful autograph shows at Cheney Stadium with Hall of Famers, Jim “Catfish” Hunter and Willie Stargell. At one time Ron had autographs of every major athlete and celebrity.
The in-stadium voice of Cheney Stadium, Ron handled the public address duties for over 20 years and had the great opportunity to be in front of the microphone for the United States vs. the Soviet Union baseball game in the 1990 Goodwill Games. It was the Russians first international game they ever played and Ron’s introductions were broadcast around the world.
No one loved baseball more than Ron and he was a true icon in the history of Tacoma Baseball at Cheney Stadium.