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MLB Team Owners
by Jay Horne - 7/22/2009
When it comes to the baseball diamond it’s not hard to make headlines. A player goes on a hot hitting streak or a pitcher throws a couple of shutouts then they take the spotlight in the newspapers and TV shows. How teams perform on the field reflects back to the players and coaches. A lot of times coaches are given credit for a team’s performance and those are not always good praises. However, on the alternative you do not hear much about the MLB team owners who have placed the managers and players in those situations. These guys are the ones paying out the contracts and pulling the strings in the background. Outside of New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who is known for his lucrative spending, we do not know most of today’s current owners. However, we are here to give you a brief detail of the men that own today’s Major League Baseball teams and how they came to power.
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Baltimore Orioles – Peter Angelos
Peter Angelos is a very successful lawyer who reportedly made over $100 million when his firm took on a load of litigation cases back in 1982. Angelos led a team of investors back in 1973 to purchase the Baltimore Orioles for $173 million. Angelos continues to be the owner of many law firms located in the northeast United States and the Baltimore Orioles value since the initial purchase has risen to $400 million.
Boston Red Sox – John Henry
John Henry made his early career fortunes as a foreign exchange trade advisor. Henry first got into baseball purchasing the Florida Marlins for $158 million in 1999. Henry then sold the team in 2002. Henry, along with partners Tom Werner and the New York Times Company, purchased the Boston Red Sox in 2002 for $700 million. Henry is also the co-owner for Rousch-Fenway Racing in NASCAR.
Chicago White Sox – Jerry Reinsdorf
Jerry Reinsdorf made his early millions in real estate before cashing in on his profits by buying the Chicago White Sox for $20 million in 1981. Reinsdorf may be even more popular for taking over the Chicago Bulls in 1984 and building them into the dynasty that won six NBA Titles. The White Sox value since the initial purchase since the 1981 deal has skyrocketed to $480 million despite not achieving the major success in baseball as with the Bulls on the basketball court.
Cleveland Indians – Larry Dolan
Larry Dolan attended Notre Dame where he earned his Law Degree at an early age. Dolan became the managing partner of a well-established private practice before buying the Cleveland Indians for 323 million in the year 2000. However, the Indians success since Dolan took over has not been overwhelming to say the least.
Detroit Tigers – Michael "Mike" Ilitch
Mike Ilitch became famous as a business entrepreneur in 1959 when he founded Little Caesars Pizza. In 1982, Ilitch bought the Detroit Red Wings for $8 million. Since taking over as Red Wings owner Ilitch has won four Stanley Cups. In addition, the savvy businessman bought the Detroit Tigers in 1992 for a reported $82 million. Ilitch is one of the richest sporting executives in the world.
Kansas City Royals – David Glass
David Glass is a former CEO of Walmart Stores Inc. Glass bought the team in 2000 for $96 million. However, the Royals have had limited success during Glass’s reign with team as Kansas City has had only one winning season since the purchase.
Los Angeles Angels – Arturo Moreno
Arturo Moreno became a well-established businessman back in 1984 with Outdoor Systems, turning the company net worth from $500,000 to nearly $90 million in 10 years. Moreno became famous in 2003 becoming the first Hispanic to own a major sports team when he bought the Angels for $184 million. Since that time, the team’s value has risen to nearly $500 million.
Minnesota Twins – Carl Pohlad
Carl Pohlad is a successful businessman who made millions investing in community banks. Pohlad bought the Twins back in 1984 for $44 million. The Twins won their first World Series just three years later. Unfortunately, Pohlad died earlier this year at the age of 93, and today his son Jim Pohlad has taken over operations.
New York Yankees – George Steinbrenner
George Steinbrenner made his early fortunes as a businessman for the American Shipbuilding Company. Steinbrenner got into the sports scene by the way of AAU Basketball before purchasing the New York Yankees in 1973 for $8.7 million dollars. Steinbrenner since built an empire with the Yankees making them the most valuable sports team. Steinbrenner who has been known to spend as much money as it takes to land talent and has achieved unparalleled success with the Yankees in the form of six World Series Championships. The Yankees present day value stands at a lucrative 1.5 billion dollars. However, today Steinbrenner’s sons Hank and Hal are responsible for running the Yankees operations.
Oakland Athletics – Lewis Wolff
Lewis Wolff is an American real estate developer who founded Maritz, Wolff & Co responsible for many luxurious hotels and resort properties around the world. Wolff purchased the Athletics. Wolff, who is also previous owner of the Golden State Warriors, bought the team in 2005 for $180 million.
Seattle Mariners – Nintendo
Nintendo is the popular video game company that became so popular in 1983 after developing the Nintendo Entertainment System. (NES) The organization out of Kyoto, Japan, plunged into the sporting world in 1992 by purchasing the Mariners for $106 million.
Tampa Bay Rays – Stuart Sternberg
Stuart Sternberg made his early fortunes by trading equity options in the stock market. After years of savvy decision making, Sternberg bought the Tampa Bay Rays in 1995 for $130 million. Sternberg main role in the team today is simply keeping finances in order as he rarely makes any on-the-field type decisions.
Texas Rangers – Thomas O Hicks
Thomas Hicks is a businessman who first became known in the 1980s after buying the soft drinks of Dr. Pepper and 7-Up. Hicks also established his own investment firm in 1989 before buying the Texas Rangers for $250 million in 1998. Hicks now also owns the Mesquite Championship Rodeo along with the Dallas Stars.
Toronto Blue Jays – Rogers Communications
Rogers Communications is known to be Canada’s leading communications provider in wireless technology and cable television. The company bought the rights to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2000 for $140 million.
Arizona Diamondbacks – Jeff Moorad
Jeff Moorad is a former sports agent who teamed up with the famous Leigh Steinberg, building their own sports management firm. Moorad is a former owner of the San Diego Padres and also an owner of Hall of Fame Racing of NASCAR. Moorad supposedly bought the team for $130 million in 1995.
Atlanta Braves – Liberty Media
Liberty Media is an American mass media corporation that bought the Atlanta Braves in 2007 for $450 million. However, the Braves team value has actually depreciated since the transfer of ownership from Time Warner.
Chicago Cubs – Chicago Tribune Company
The Chicago Tribune Company is the world’s largest employee owned Media Company. The company is mainly known for their publishing of the Chicago Tribune, which is one of the largest circulating newspapers in America. The Chicago Tribune bought the Cubs for $900 million this year.
Cincinnati Reds – Robert Castellini
Robert Castellini is an American businessman who led a group that bought the Reds for $270 million in 2006. Castellini is popularly known for being one of the more appreciated owners in baseball for his desire to win. Castellini is a former CEO of Castellini Group of Companies before making diving into the sporting world.
Colorado Rockies – Charlie Monfort
Charlie Monfort is from a family that became very famous in the cattle feeding industry. The family owned business has come to be one of the leading beef exporters in the world. In 1992 Monfort bought the Rockies for $95 million. Monfort is currently the CEO of ConAgra Refrigerated Foods International.
Florida Marlins – Jeffrey Loria
Jeffrey Loria came to being famous as one of the world’s leading art collectors. Shortly after college Loria became known for having his own established art buying program. Loria got into Major League Baseball buying 35 percent of the Montreal Expos in 1999. Loria then bought the Florida Marlins after selling off his stock with the Expos in 2002 for $158 million.
Houston Astros – Drayton McLane
Drayton McLane began working for a family-owned grocery business at the age of nine. McLane then worked his way up through the family business throughout his career, eventually being named CEO of the company in 1978. The business, which specialized in grocery distribution, became one of the largest of its kind in the world. McLane moved in to the sports world in 1992 buying the Houston Astros for nearly $107 million. The Astros are now worth nearly $500 million in today’s market value.
Los Angeles Dodgers – Frank McCourt
Frank McCourt founded The McCourt Company that specialized in commercial real estate development projects back in 1977. In 2004, McCourt placed a bid to buy the Boston Red Sox, his hometown team, but lost out on the bid to John Henry and Tom Werner. McCourt then turned his attention to the Los Angeles Dodgers and purchased the team for $430 million and in just five years the team’s value has increased to $700 million.
Milwaukee Brewers – Mark Attanasio
Mark Attanasio is a former investor banker who partnered with money management firms like TCW, Crescent Mezzanine, and Trust Company of the West. Attanasio purchased the Brewers back in 2004 for $180 million. The team has reportedly doubled its value from the purchase just five seasons ago.
New York Mets – Fred Wilpon
Fred Wilpon is the co-founder of the company called Sterling Equities. The company is an investment firm that also houses the likes of Private Equity, Venture Capital, and other well known real estate firms. Wilpon bought the Mets back in 2002 for $391 million. The Mets are now the second most valued team in baseball, estimated at a better than $900 million value.
Philadelphia Phillies – David Montgomery
David Montgomery landed a job back in 1971 as a member of the Phillies Sales Department handling sales. The long-time Phillies fan then worked his way up through the marketing department then became Executive Vice President in 1981. Montgomery took over the team’s CEO position from Bill Giles in 1997.
Pittsburgh Pirates – Robert Nutting
Robert Nutting is the President and CEO of Ogden Newspapers Incorporated. Nutting became the principal owner of the team in 2007 after holding partial ownership of the squad since 1996 in the initial purchase amount of $92 million.
St. Louis Cardinals – William DeWitt
William DeWitt joined an investment firm back in 1974 before venturing out to start his own firm with partner Mercer Reynolds. The investor owns franchises in Arby’s and the U.S Playing Card Company. DeWitt purchased the Cardinals back in 1995 for $150 million and now the ball club is worth nearly $500 million.
San Diego Padres – John Moores
John Moores early career started off as a programmer for IBM. Moores then founded BMC Software in 1980. Moores also was a leading capital financer for Peregrine Systems in 1981 and cashed in loads of money from Peregrine stocks. Moores went on to purchase the Padres from Tom Werner back in 1995 for $94 million. The Padres are now worth nearly $400 million.
San Francisco Giants – Peter Magowan
Peter Magowan was born from a savvy business rich background. Magowan’s grandfather Charles Merril was co-founder of Merril & Lynch Company. Magowan’s early career began as a CEO for Safeway, leading him to roles with Caterpillar and DaimlerChrysler. In 1993, Magowan purchased the Giants from owner Bob Lurie for $100 million.
Washington Nationals – Ted Lerner
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Ted Lerner is the founder of Lerner Enterprises. Lerner Enterprises is a real estate developer and still operates today. Lerner purchased majority ownership of the Washington Nations in 2006 for $450 million dollars. Lerner is also in connection with Lincoln Holdings who owns NHL Washington Capitols and WNBA Washington Mystics. However, since Lerner initial investment with the Nationals their net worth has reportedly went down nearly $50 million from 2006.
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