In October of 1991, Rick was hired away from the University of Minnesota by the Cleveland Indians, to become their President and Chief Operating Officer.
During his tenure with the Indians, Cleveland was named Major League Baseball's Organization of the Year by Baseball America, the only time this honor was awarded in franchise history.
During the same span, Rick reorganized the front office, and the club won 19 games more than it had in 1991 (with baseball's lowest Major League payroll), while generating a profit on a $37 million operating budget.Most notably, the Indians also devised an innovative plan for controlling players' salaries that allowed the club to sign its best young talent to long-term contracts while staying within the company's tight budgetary constraints.
In addition, Rick was credited with improving the Indians' public image with both the media and the fans, and initiated a weekly call-in radio show on the club's flagship station, WKNR-AM.
Rick resigned from the Indians in November of 1992. Soon thereafter Cleveland owner Richard Jacobs named himself President and COO of the club.