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  • George Michael Steinbrenner, III:

    Owner: New York Yankees, 1973 - 2010

    Born: July 4, 1930, Rocky River, OH
    Died: July 13, 2010, Tampa, FL, age 80,---d. heart failure

    Chairman of the Board (1980-90), Principal owner (1993-2010)

    Father: Henry G., born April 15, 1904, died November 7, 1983, Westlake, Ohio; Mother: Rita H, born December 25, 1903, died February 26, 1994, Westlake, Ohio.

    Biography Resource Center:
    Source: Encyclopedia of World Biography Supplement, Vol. 19. Gale Group, 1999.
    George Steinbrenner (born 1930), the Cleveland shipbuilding magnate who purchased the New York Yankees in 1973, has been one of professional sports most controversial and quotable figures. Twice suspended by baseball for legal and ethical violations, Steinbrenner nevertheless earned the respect of his fellow owners for his record of success on the field. The Yankees won multiple championships under Steinbrenner's aggressive style of leadership.

    George Steinbrenner was born on July 4, 1930, in Rocky River, Ohio. His father, Henry Steinbrenner, owned a Great Lakes shipping company. His mother, Rita, managed their home in Bay Village, the suburb of Cleveland where Steinbrenner spent his formative years. As a child, Steinbrenner delivered eggs to earn spending money. His father, a former collegiate track and field star, instructed him to work hard and urged him to try competitive athletics.

    At age twelve, Steinbrenner took up hurdling. Whenever he finished second in a track meet, his father appeared instantly at his side, demanding to know: "What the hell happened? How'd you let that guy beat you?" These scoldings instilled a perfectionist streak in the young Steinbrenner that he often cited as the key to his later success.

    Education and Early Career
    Steinbrenner was educated at the Culver Military Academy in Indiana. He then went on to Williams College in Massachusetts where he continued to run track and edited the sports section of the campus newspaper. In the glee club, he stood directly behind future Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim and--by his own account--outsang him. After earning his bachelor's degree in 1952, Steinbrenner joined the United States Air Force. There he took charge of a succession of successful projects that showed his emerging leadership skills. He established a sports program and set up his own food service business on the base.

    After three years in the military, Steinbrenner got a job coaching high school football in Columbus, Ohio. He later moved on to the college level, becoming an assistant at Northwestern and then at Purdue, but his Big Ten coaching career was to be short-lived. In 1957, at the request of his father, Steinbrenner returned to the shipyard, where he was put to work counting rivets in crawl spaces. He married the former Elizabeth Zweig on May 12, 1956, and seemed set to take over his father's business. The lure of big-time sports proved too powerful, however, and Steinbrenner invested a considerable sum of money into his first pro franchise, basketball's Cleveland Pipers. The team failed, and Steinbrenner lost all his savings.

    Builds Fortune
    Urged to file for bankruptcy, Steinbrenner instead worked to pay off his debt. When his father retired in 1963, he took control of the family shipping business and helped turn around its sagging fortunes. With the money he made, he formed a partnership with a group of investors and bought into the American Ship Building Company. Elected to the company's presidency in 1967, Steinbrenner fetched his father out of retirement to help him run the operation. American Shipbuilding flourished under Steinbrenner's leadership and made him a multimillionaire.

    In the late 1960s, Steinbrenner began to exert his newfound influence on the national level. He used his political connections to become the chief fund-raiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, raising nearly $2 million over a two-year period. The election of Republican Richard Nixon to the presidency in 1968 made Steinbrenner fear reprisals against himself or his business. In order to hedge his bets, the shipbuilder contributed to Nixon's 1972 re-election campaign. Unfortunately for Steinbrenner, his donations violated several campaign finance laws. He eventually pleaded guilty to all counts and was fined a total of $35,000.

    Yankee Owner
    These charges came just as Steinbrenner was embarking on a new career as a major league baseball owner. In January 1973, Steinbrenner joined with a group of investors to purchase the New York Yankees for $10 million. Once baseball's hallmark franchise, the Yankees had slipped to second-division status in recent years under the ownership of CBS, and a management team headed by Mike Burke. Steinbrenner, who at first announced he would "stick to building ships" and let others run the team, promptly forced Burke out and hired Cleveland Indians' general manager Gabe Paul to supervise the rebuilding process.

    In November 1974, baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn did briefly return Steinbrenner to the shipyards when he issued him a two-year suspension for his campaign finance transgressions. In Steinbrenner's absence, Paul made a series of shrewd trades and personnel decisions that laid the groundwork for the Yankees return to prominence. By the time Steinbrenner returned from exile in 1976, the Yankees had a top-flight club poised to contend for a world title. The team won its division going away that season, then relied on a clutch ninth-inning, game-winning home run by Chris Chambliss to secure the American League pennant in a five-game playoff against the Kansas City Royals. Only a four-game sweep at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series dampened the spirit of rejuvenation surrounding the Yankees.

    Championship Seasons
    In 1977, Steinbrenner opened his checkbook to bring in free agent slugger Reggie Jackson, the former star of the Oakland Athletics. Jackson added considerable star power and clutch hitting to the team, but also heightened dissension in the clubhouse. He had a stormy relationship with manager Billy Martin and was considered selfish by his teammates. Nevertheless, the talented, if volatile, team survived these distractions to make it to the World Series for a second year in a row. This time they were victorious, ousting the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games. Steinbrenner had fulfilled his promise to bring a championship to New York.

    He brought a second world title in 1978, though again at a high cost in terms of hostility. The simmering Martin-Jackson feud bubbled over in mid-season, prompting Steinbrenner to fire his manager. On his way out the door, Martin took a few parting shots at both Jackson and the team's owner. "One's a born liar, the other's convicted," Martin observed--an apparent reference to Steinbrenner's campaign finance activity. Relations between the two men would forever be colored by this ugly incident.

    Controversial Figure
    Over the next few years, the Yankees continued to contend for the American League pennant. Steinbrenner's increasingly meddlesome management style was blamed for a lack of stability that doomed the team's best efforts. He hired Billy Martin back as manager again in 1979--only to fire him at season's end. It was the first of four instances in which the erratic Martin was invited back to take control of the club, only to be let go with assurances that he would never be hired again. In 1980, the Yankees won 103 games under manager Dick Howser, but Steinbrenner fired him after the team was beaten in the playoffs.

    In 1981, the Yankees returned to the World Series. However, after beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first two games, the Yankees dropped the next three. Following Game Five, Steinbrenner called a late-night press conference to hold up a flimsily bandaged hand and announce that he had defended the Yankee honor by beating up two Dodger fans in an elevator. The Yankees failed to take a "get tough" cue from their owner and lost the sixth and deciding game. Before the game was even completed, Steinbrenner ordered the Yankee publicity department to issue an apology to the people of New York City for the club's lackluster performance.

    Decline and Exile
    The rest of the 1980s proved to be a bleak period for the Yankees and their fans. Steinbrenner signed many high-priced players, but with seemingly little regard for their adaptability to the pressures of playing in New York. Managers were put under intense pressure to succeed, subject to dismissal at any time according to the owner's whims. Three men were hired and fired during the 1982 season alone. Steinbrenner engaged in protracted contract squabbles with one star player, Don Mattingly, and publicly belittled another, Dave Winfield, by comparing him unfavorably to the departed Reggie Jackson. By 1990, the Yankees were one of the worst teams in baseball--thanks in large part to the instability wrought on the club by its owner.

    By that time, Steinbrenner's relationship with Winfield had deteriorated to the point where he reportedly hired a known gambler to dig up information that would destroy the slugger's reputation. Acting on evidence of this plot, baseball commissioner Fay Vincent suspended Steinbrenner from baseball on July 30, 1990. Control of the Yankees was handed over to limited partner Robert Nederlander for an indefinite period. Yankee management used this period of "exile" to rebuild the team's shattered minor league system and make a few judicious trades. When Steinbrenner was allowed to regain control of the team in 1993, it was once again ready to contend for a world championship.

    Successful Return
    Many observers expected Steinbrenner to return to his imperious ways and jeopardize the club's progress, but banishment seemed to have mellowed Steinbrenner. He changed his management style, showing a renewed willingness to let his "baseball people" run the team. Other than ousting manager Buck Showalter after the 1995 season, he made few personnel changes and largely avoided making the kind of public comments that had generated controversy in the past. Under new manager Joe Torre, the team capped a stellar 1996 season with a come-from-behind upset victory over the Atlanta Braves in the World Series. Two years later, the Yankees posted the best record in American League history, going 114-48. They then completed an impressive playoff run by sweeping the San Diego Padres in four games in the World Series. They won again in 1999 and 2000.

    During this period of success, Steinbrenner turned his attention more frequently toward the future of the Yankees. He lobbied city and state officials in New York for the construction of a new stadium, or at least the refurbishing of the old one. In 1999, Steinbrenner joined with New York Nets owner Lewis Katz to create YankeeNets, a merger of the New York Yankees and New Jersey Nets. By 2001, YankeeNets was also the holding company for the New Jersey Devils hockey team. (Principal owners George Steinbrenner of the Yankees and Lewis Katz and Ray Chambers of the Nets and Devils retained direct control of their respective teams.) In 2001, the firm was working to launch a regional cable sports network called Yankees Entertainment and Sports.

    In 2002, the Yankees won their fifth straight American League East title, but lost to the Anaheim Angels in the division series. It was the earliest postseason exit for the Yankees since 1980. In 2003, the Yankees lost the World Series to the Florida Marlins. The following year, the Yankees once again captured the American League East title and faced the Boston Red Sox in the American League division championship. The Yankees got off to a three-game lead in the best-of-seven series, but suffered an embarrassing breakdown to lose the next four games--and the pennant--to the Red Sox.

    After the Yankees' post-season loss in 2004, Steinbrenner dropped to number 15 on the Sporting News' list of the most powerful people in sports. In 2003, he had ranked number nine, although as late as 2002, he had topped the power list at number one. Steinbrenner's high rankings year after year are a testament to his influence in the world of sports.

    Pads Payroll
    Yearning for another World Series win, Steinbrenner spent the early 2000s padding his roster, paying top dollar to recruit the game's best players. The Yankees' payroll stood at $187.9 million in 2004--the highest in the league. The Yankees' payroll was so high Steinbrenner was forced to pay a "luxury tax" in both 2003 and 2004. Major League Baseball initiated the luxury tax in 2002 in an effort to rein in player salaries and keep the richest teams from buying all the best players. Only teams that break the payroll salary cap have to pay the tax, and the money goes to the poorer teams. In 2003 and 2004, the Yankees were the only team forced to pay, shelling out more than $85 million in luxury taxes and revenue sharing in 2004 alone. The cap did not dampen Steinbrenner's pocketbook. Prior to the 2005 spring training season, the Yankees acquired pitcher Randy Johnson in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The deal garnered Johnson a two-year $32 million contract extension.

    2006 was a year of ups and downs for Steinbrenner. The Yankees became the first franchise to become valued at over $1 billion, marking a 10,000% return on Steinbrenner's original investment. Three months later, ground was finally broken for his love-coveted new stadium, scheduled for completion in 2009. But such achievements could not help but be eclipsed by the Yankees' failure to win a World Series pennant for the sixth straight year after being beaten, 8-3, by the Detroit Tigers in the American League Division Series. Despite the disappointment, however, Steinbrenner said he would keep Torre on as manager for the 2007 season.

    In the years after he turned 70, Steinbrenner appeared to mellow. He stayed out of the spotlight, prompting rumors that he had suffered a stroke. His publicist, Howard Rubenstein, discounted the notion. "I'm on the phone with him every day," Rubenstein told the New York Times. "He lifts weights. He's in a real training program. He's really all together." A fainting incident in the autumn of 2006 gave rise to new speculation about his health, but the then 76-year-old continued to insist that he was just fine.

    Wikipedia: George Steinbrenner

    -------------------------June 16, 2005-----------------------------------------------------June 15, 2005----------------------------------------------------1992
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-29-2011, 12:29 PM.


    • Christian Frederick von der Ahe:

      Owner: St. Louis Cardinals, 1892 - 1897

      Born: October 7, 1851, Hile, Prussia
      Died: June 5, 1913, St. Louis, MO, age 61,---d. cirrosis of liver, buried in Bellefontaine Catholic Cemetery, St. Louis, MO

      Made fortune in beer brewing, had famous St. Louis saloon, Also managed St. Louis Nationals in 1892, 1895-97.
      Chris von der Ahe: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      Friedrich (or Frederick) Wilhelm von der Ahe was a German-American entrepreneur, best known as the owner of the St. Louis Browns of the National League which are now known as the Cardinals.

      Von der Ahe arrived in New York City but quickly moved to St. Louis, where he worked as a clerk in a grocery store. Later, he bought out the store owner and expanded business by establishing a saloon in the back of the store. Von der Ahe noticed that a number of his patrons visited the saloon after baseball games, so in 1882, he bought the bankrupt and scandal-ridden St. Louis baseball franchise for $1,800 and joined the American Association baseball league. He named the team the Browns and hired future Chicago White Sox owner Charles Comiskey to manage the team and play first base. Von der Ahe dubbed himself "der boss president of der Prowns." He took a very active role in the team, even though he knew almost nothing about baseball. With his bushy mustache, showmanship and exaggerated German accent, Von der Ahe was the first baseball owner with a significant public persona, the predecessor of Bill Veeck and Charlie Finley in this regard.

      The Browns dominated the American Association, winning four straight league championships starting in 1885, and the baseball, beer, and other investments made von der Ahe wealthy. He made $500,000 off the baseball team alone. He set the ticket price at 25 cents, hoping fans would spend money on beer. As a result, the Browns led the league in attendance and soon had to expand his ballpark.

      In 1885, von der Ahe erected a larger-than-life statue outside of Sportsman's Park, not of any of his star players, but of himself. A sportswriter from Denver mockingly dubbed the statue "Von der Ahe discovers Illinois." Although eccentric, von der Ahe made a number of innovations, operating a farm club called the St. Louis Whites, and inventing the World Series, initially just to raise more money at the end of the season. Also, tradition holds that von der Ahe was the first to sell hot dogs at the ballpark, although some historians dispute this.

      In 1887, after a poor showing in the World Series, the ill-tempered von der Ahe threatened to withhold his players' share of the earnings. In 1891, he was also majority owner of the Cincinnati Porkers which played for part of one season in the American Association. In 1892 the team joined the National League after the American Association folded. By this time, Comiskey had lost patience with von der Ahe and left for the Cincinnati Reds. Without Comiskey, the Browns quickly became a last-place team.

      Legal problems plagued von der Ahe's ownership, especially in the later years, and in an effort to recoup his losses, in 1892 he moved to a larger ballpark, which he surrounded with an amusement park, complete with beer garden, a horse track in the outfield, a "shoot-the-shoots" water flume ride, and an artificial lake (also used for ice skating in the winter). The league, which prohibited gambling on its grounds, disapproved of the race track; so did von der Ahe's outfielders. The press called the facility "Coney Island West" and nicknamed von der Ahe "Von der Ha Ha."

      With losses still piling up, von der Ahe resorted to selling off his best players, mostly to Brooklyn. In 1898, part of the ballpark burned down during a game with Chicago, his second wife divorced him, and his bondsman kidnapped him for not paying his debts. In a highly publicized trial connected with the fire, von der Ahe lost his baseball team. The Browns changed hands twice and changed their name twice, first to the Perfectos and then to the Cardinals. The American League team known as the St. Louis Browns from 1902-1953 had no connection to von der Ahe's team aside from the name, which was designed to invoke the memory of the 1885-1889 era.

      Von der Ahe soon lost his other wealth as well, and was reduced to tending bar in a small saloon. Comiskey frequently sent von der Ahe money to help make ends meet. He died of cirrhosis of the liver in 1913. He was buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, with the statue that once stood in front of Sportsman's Park adorning his grave.
      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-26-2011, 02:26 PM.


      • Charles Albert Comiskey:

        Owner: Chicago White Sox, 1901 - 1931

        Born: August 15, 1859, Chicago, IL
        Died: October 26, 1931, Eagle River, IL, age 72

        Wikipedia article

        Charles's bio as it appeared in 1933's Who's Who
        in Major League Baseball, edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson.



        --------------1920 with William Veeck, Pres. of the Cubs.
        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 12-27-2011, 02:22 PM.


        • John Louis Comiskey:

          Owner: Chicago White Sox, 1931 - 1939

          Born: August 12, 1885, Dubuque, IA
          Died: July 18, 1939, Eagle River, WI, age 54

          Inherited team upon death of his father, 1931. Rebuilt team to respectability, Appointed VP/Treasurer, 1910, 2 years later contracted scarlet fever. Was ill for the rest of his life. Weighed 380 lbs. Started farm system, installed night games lights in 1939. Died, heart disease, pneumonia.

          John's bio/photo, as it appeared in 1933's Who's Who
          in Major League Baseball, edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson.

          ----------------------------------------------------With Harry Mitchell Grabiner, 1926, who later became his VP/Secretary.

          March 3, 1925 - Chicago White Sox Officials at Spring Training Pasadena, CA -
          Traveling Secretary Joseph Barry, President Louis Comiskey, and Vice President
          Harry Grabiner, of the Chicago White Sox Baseball Club, are shown left to right
          at Brookside Park in Pasadena, as the Sox opened spring training there. ----------------------------------1930's

          Harry Grabiner/Lou Comiskey

          -----------------Harry Grabiner/Louis Comiskey: 1926-----------------------------Louis Comiskey/Harry Grabiner: 1926

          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-11-2009, 06:20 PM.


          • Charles Oscar Finley:

            Owner: Kansas City A's, Oakland A's: 1961 -1980

            Born: February 22, 1919, Birmingham, AL
            Died: February 19, 1996, La Porte, IN, age 77; Buried: Calumet Park Cemetery / Mausoleum, Lake County, Merrilville, IN

            Kansas City Athletics owner, 1961 - 1967
            Oakland Athletics owner, 1968 - 1980

            Wikipedia: Charles Finley

            One of the most flamboyant, innovative, cantankerous and controversial baseball club owners ever…Introduced orange baseballs, ball girls, a mechanical rabbit that gave baseballs to the umpires, and advocated night World Series games in an effort to boost fan interest…As his own general manager, signed Jim Hunter, Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando, Vida Blue and Bert Campaneris, who became the nucleus of his Oakland dynasty…Shifted the club he acquired in 1960 from Kansas City to Oakland after the 1967 season…Won five straight division titles (1971-75) and World Championships in 1972-74…The A's were en route to a division title in 1981 when he sold the club to Levi-Strauss.

            -----------February 24, 1976-------------------------------September 26, 1981
            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-09-2009, 05:58 PM.


            • -------------------------------Some Prominent Team Owners:

              Horace Charles Stoneham:

              Owner: New York Giants / San Francisco Giants: 1936 - 1976

              Born: April 27, 1903, Newark, NJ
              Died: Januray 7, 1990, Scottsdale, AZ, age 86

              Wikipedia: Horace C. Stoneham (April 27, 1903 - January 7, 1990) was the principal owner of Major League Baseball's New York/San Francisco Giants from the death of his father, Charles Stoneham, in 1936 until 1976. During his ownership, the team won National League pennants in 1933, 1936, 1937, 1951, 1954 and 1962, a division title in 1971, and World Series titles in 1933 and 1954.

              New York baseball fans and media vilified Stoneham and Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley when they moved their clubs to California after the 1957 season. Stoneham was alarmed by a dramatic post-1954 drop-off in attendance at his team's historic ballpark, the Polo Grounds in Upper Manhattan. Impressed by the success of the Braves after their 1953 shift from Boston to Milwaukee, Stoneham decided to move his Giants to Bloomington, Minnesota, where a stadium had just been constructed for his AAA farm team, the Minneapolis Millers.

              When Stoneham confided his plan to O'Malley, the Dodger chief informed him that he (O'Malley) was negotiating to move his club – the Giants' bitter rival – to Los Angeles. He suggested that Stoneham contact San Francisco mayor George Christopher and explore moving his team there to preserve the rivalry. Stoneham then abandoned his Minnesota plan and shifted his attention, permanently, to San Francisco.

              At the New York Giants' last home game, Stoneham was confronted by fans both angry — one sign read: "We want Stoneham! (With a rope around his neck!)" — and grief-stricken. After meeting with a group of weeping youngsters who begged the team to stay, Stoneham was moved, but said: "I feel badly for the kids, but we haven't seen too many of their fathers [i.e. paying fans] around here lately."

              Writer Roger Kahn said years later, during promotional tours for his book The Era 1947-57, that the Giants' deteriorating ballpark and shrinking fan base made it necessary for Stoneham to abandon New York. He noted, however, that the Dodgers – a year removed from the 1956 pennant and two from Brooklyn's first world championship – were still profitable and O'Malley's move West was motivated by a desire for even greater riches.

              While their early years in San Francisco produced only one pennant, the Giants of the late 1950s and 1960s were one of the most talented assemblages in the National League. They included five Hall of Famers — Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda and Gaylord Perry — and many other stars. The Giants were the first major league team to heavily scout and sign players from the Dominican Republic.

              But the NL was so powerful and competitive — it had far outpaced the American League in signing African-American and Latin American players — the Giants had only one pennant to show for a decade-plus of contention. Stoneham was partially to blame for this, as he squandered the resources of his productive farm system through a series of poorly advised trades, and hired as his manager from 1961-64 Alvin Dark, who had a brilliant baseball mind but a poor relationship with at least some of his minority players. Dark was fired after the '64 Giants fell just short in a wild, end-of-season pennant race but, more notably, he had made derogatory remarks to the press about Latin ballplayers during the season. (He later said he was misquoted.)

              After their initial success, Stoneham's Giants fell on hard times during the 1970s. Attendance at cold and windy Candlestick Park plummeted, and Stoneham faced financial hardship. Finally, in 1976, he put the team up for sale. The Giants very nearly moved back east, to Toronto. In addition, it was briefly rumored they considered a return to the metropolitan New York area, perhaps to a new baseball stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands. But local businessman Bob Lurie stepped in as the buyer, and the Giants remained in Northern California.

              Born in Newark, New Jersey, Stoneham died at age 86 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
              At the age of 33, he inherited team from his father Charles upon his death January 7, 1936. Had become club executive (1929). Plucked Dodger manager, Leo Durocher, from cross-town rivals in mid-season 1948. Bad attendance (1956-57), caused him to give up on his long-time home in NYC in favor of milder climes in San Francisco.
              Sporting News' obituary, January 22, 1990, pp. 53.

              L-R: Bob Carpenter (Phillies' owner),
              Horace Stoneham (Giants' owner),
              Warren Giles (NL Pres.),
              Walter O’Malley (Dodgers).
              --------------------------------------------------------------July 20, 1951, signing Leo Durocher to his contract.

              December 6, 1941: Stoneham, Eddie Brannick, Mel Ott.---------------------------July 26, 1954: Walter O'Malley, Stoneham.

              November 14, 1973: Walter O'Malley, Stoneham, Warren Giles (NL President).--------------June 4, 1957: Walter O'Malley, New York Mayor Robert Wagner, Horace Stoneham.

              Horace Stoneham, Eddie Brannick, Leo Durocher.-------------------------------------------1948: Horace Stoneham, Mel Ott, Leo Durocher.

              1940-1948: Eddie Brannick, Horace Stoneham, Mel Ott.
              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-21-2013, 01:08 PM.


              • Charles Hercules Ebbets:

                Sole Owner: Brooklyn Dodgers, 1898 - January 12, 1912
                Co-Owner: January 12, 1912 - 1925

                Born: October 29, 1859, Greenwich Village, NY
                Died: April 18, 1925, Brooklyn, NY, age 65,---d. at Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, NYC, NY, after having suffered heart disease several years.

                Charles bought a small amount of stock in 1890, became the Secretary of the ball club (1896), & was elected President of the ball club even though only a minor stockholder (1898). He had originally owned 10% of the stock in the Baltimore team baseball franchise.

                Wikipedia: He was born in New York City, and was a draftsman and architect who designed numerous New York City buildings. He also served on the Brooklyn City Council for four years, and in the New York State Assembly for one. Ebbets first job with the Dodgers was as a bookkeeper in 1883, and he became a shareholder in 1890. Charles took an active role in marketing the sport to families, and took over team operations in 1898. He also managed the Dodgers that year, and the team finished tenth. Ned Hanlon, the owner and manager of the Baltimore Orioles, bought some of the remaining stock in the team after the 1898 season, and took the best Baltimore players to the Brooklyn team. They won pennants in both 1899 and 1900.

                In 1905 Hanlon wanted to move the team to Baltimore, but Ebbets bought out his shares. He is credited with inventing the concept of the rain check, and proposing a player draft favoring teams which finished low in the standings. He financed the building of Ebbets Field in 1912 by selling half his shares in the team to the McKeever Brothers. The Dodgers won pennants in both 1916 and 1920. Ebbets died of heart failure at age 65 in New York City, and is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.

                ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------September 25, 1916.

                ----------------------------------------------------------------------Pat Moran/Wilbert Robinson/Charlie Ebbets

                Edward J. McKeever:

                Co-Owner: Brooklyn Dodgers, January 2, 1912 - May 27, 1925.
                President of team: April 18, 1925 - May 27, 1925.

                Born: March 19, 1859, Brooklyn, NY
                Died: May 27, 1925, Brooklyn, NY, age 66---d. after a week of influenza/pulmonary edema

                Stephen W. McKeever:

                Co-Owner: Brooklyn Dodgers, January 2, 1912 - March 7, 1938.
                President of team: 1933 - March 7, 1938.

                Born: October 31, 1853, Brooklyn, NY
                Died: March 7, 1938, Brooklyn, NY, age 84,---d. pneumonia, after a week

                Charles H. Ebbets invited the McKeevers--Steve and Eward--to join his enterprise when he moved to a new location in Brooklyn. They assumed half of the stock. When Mr. Ebbets and Ed McKeever died a peculiar condition developed. Neither side would give in. Stephen McKeever became desperately ill. Eventually, he recovered and the National League appointed Walter F. (Dutch) Carter to serve as arbitrator.

                Carter gradually became convinced of the soundness of Stephen McKeever's judgment and collaborated in choosing the sturdy old Irishman as president.

                Stephen tried to run away from home at the age of nine and become a drummer boy in the Union army but his father's cane reduced that ambition.

                He and his brother, Edward, formed a contracting and building company. They specialized in sewers and asphalt paving. Later they constructed houses. Mr. Ebbets turned to them when about to build Ebbets Field. They took stock in the ball club in lieu of cash and erected a baseball palace.

                C. H. Ebbets remained president until the day of his death. McKeever was vice-president and Steve was treasurer. They worked successfully and in harmony. The death of two of the 'Big Three' threw the club's affairs into a turmoil with one-half the stock in controversy between three sets of heirs.

                A bitter fight was waged until 'Judge' McKeever recovered his heath and assumed active charge. He succeeded Frank B York as president. Steve McKeever was 57 years old before he ever had any connection with organized baseball. At the turn of the century he owned fast harness horses, but did not dabble in baseball until 1912.

                Before the 'Judge' took the helm a meeting of the Brooklyn directorate rivaled the best act of a comic opera. Attorneys-at-law, representatives of banks and stock-holders who voted their own stock assembled, but shares were held so evenly that nothing could be accomplished. President John A. Heydler, on behalf of the National League, finally effected a compromise that turned out satisfactorily to all concerned.

                January 2, 1912: Brooklyn Dodgers president Charles Ebbets announces he has purchased grounds to build a new concrete-and-steel stadium to seat 30,000. When he became pressed for his funding, he offered selling half the team to Ed and Steve W. McKeever, Brooklyn construction contractors, for $100,000 to complete the ballpark. They, along with Ebbets, functioned as a harmonious trio, with Charles serving as President, with Ed serving as VP, Stephen as treasurer.

                Charles Ebbets died of a heart attack, April 18, 1925. Ed McKeever took over as President immediately. While attending Charles funeral, Ed caught a cold, and within a week of the funeral, Ed died of pneumonia, on May 27, 1925. At this time, the only other person with Dodger stock was Steve McKeever, who held onto his stock until his death in 1938. His daughter Helen McKeever Darvey held onto her inherited 25% interest until 1945, when she finally sold out to O'Malley.

                Along with Dodger President Branch Rickey and Long Island insurance executive Andrew J. Schmitz, Walter O’Malley purchases 25 percent of the shares of Dodger stock from the estate of former part-owner Ed McKeever. When Dodger President Charles Ebbets was in the process of building Ebbets Field, which opened in 1913, funds were running thin, so instead of paying cash to the contractors — headed by brothers Ed and Stephen McKeever — he offered them 50 percent of the shares of Brooklyn Dodger stock. After Ed McKeever’s death, just 11 days following the passing of Ebbets, the shares went into a family trust. O’Malley said on November 1, 1944, "It has been known for some time that the Ed McKeever block was for sale to anybody acceptable, and we just thought it was a good idea to pick it up now."

                Ed McKeever/his wife (Jennie Veronica), Charles Ebbets:--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Stephen McKeever/Ed McKeever:
                Opening Day, 1913.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------NL owners meeting, Feb. 11, 1913

                ----------L-R: Charles Ebbets, Wilbert Robinson, Stephen McKeever, Edward McKeever: October 6, 1916, World Series.

                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 04-09-2010, 08:39 PM.


                • Walter Francis O'Malley:

                  Owner: Brooklyn/LA Dodgers, 1950 - 1976

                  Born: October 9, 1903, Bronx, NY
                  Died: August 9, 1979, Los Angeles, CA, age 75

                  Wife: Kay, born April 12, 1907, died July 12, 1979, Los Angeles, CA; Son: Peter.

                  Wikipedia article
                  Dodger lawyer (1943-50), deprived Brooklyn fans of their beloved team when he moved the Dodgers to LA (1958). LA's hero was Brooklyn's arch super-criminal. By 1950, owned majority of stock, after muscling Branch Rickey out of the Dodger Presidency.

                  Was the type of businessman of the most despicable sort. Conniving, deceptive, obfuscating, selfish, manipulative, opportunistic in the ugliest ways. Should have been forced by Commissioner to sell his shares to the borough of Brooklyn, and thus bought-out in full, been required to start a new team from scratch, where ever he felt best for himself, instead of being allowed to kidnap a valued team from its rightful home.

                  There can never be redemption for a black-heart of his ilk. He and Charles Comiskey will forever be the shame of baseball.

                  Among the most influential club owners of the early expansion era and is widely recognized as the catalyst, through his move west, in Baseball's expansions of 1960, 1961, 1969 and 1977…From 1941-49 served at the Dodgers' general counsel, then served as principal owner from 1950-69, and chairman of the board from 1970-79…Gained control of the Dodgers in 1950...In first seven years the Dodgers won four pennants and a World Series, leading the league in attendance…Maintained tremendous player development program installed under the Rickey regime…Moved the club to Los Angeles in 1957 and persuaded Giants' President Horace Stoneham to follow…After moving into Dodger Stadium in 1962 the club annually attracted more than two million spectators and in 1979 set a major league mark by drawing three million…In 1977 the Dodgers were valued at $50 million, or twice the value of the average major league franchise.

                  O'Malley was doing work for the Brooklyn Trust Company, which held the mortgage on Ebbets Field and controlled the Ebbets estate. O'Malley did mostly forclosure work. When Branch Rickey became president, the Ed McKeever block was for sale, The Brooklyn Trust Company talked to Rickey about buying it. Rickey didn't have the required capital and John Smith, president of Pfizer Chemical was brought in. O'Malley jumped in with a piece as well. The three partners Rickey, Smith and O'Malley bought the 25% Mckeever block. Later they bought the 50% Ebbets block giving them 75%, with a McKeever daughter, Dearie Mulvey owning the other 25%. After John Smith passed away, O'Malley convinced Mrs. Smith to allow him to vote her shares. He also convinced Mrs. Mulvey to vote with him as well. After the 1950 season Rickey was voted out as General Manager and President. He was still a stockholder, but he lived on the salary he made as President and G.M. There was a partnership agreement that said the other partners had to be given a chance to match any sale.

                  O'Malley knew Rickey had to sell to meet his commitments and offered the price as Rickey paid at the start. Rickey found an outside buyer who offered $1,000,000. O'Malley always claimed it wasn't genuine but couldn't take the chance and paid the higher amount. From that moment on any time anyone in the Dodger offices mentioned Rickey's name they were fined $1.00.
                  Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-25-2013, 07:51 AM.


                  • Calvin Robertson Griffith:

                    Owner: Washington Senators, 1955 - 1960
                    Minnesota Twins, 1961 - 1984

                    Born: December 1, 1911, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
                    Died: October 15, 1999, Minneapolis, MN, age 87

                    Inherited team from his uncle, Clark Griffith on his death (1955). Transferred Senators from long-time home, Wash. DC to Minneapolis (1961).
                    Sold Twins to Carl Pohlad for $36 million, 1984. Son, Clark tried to buy'em back for $120.m, no go.

                    Clark Griffith was the owner of the Washington Senators. He refused to integrate his team for seven years after Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. During the 1940s, Griffith talked to Buck Leonard and Josh Gibson about playing for the Senators. Ultimately, however, Griffith did not sign them because he did not want to give up the $100,000 in stadium rentals that was receiving each season from Grays during their heyday in Washington in 1942 and 1943. Griffith's failure to integrate his team alienated his loyal black fan base and ultimately doomed his team in Washington.

                    Wikipedia: Calvin Robertson Griffith (December 1, 1911 - October 20, 1999), born Calvin Robertson in Montreal, Canada, was a Major League Baseball team owner (1955 - 1984). He was famous for his devotion to the game and for his sayings.

                    He was the nephew of Clark Griffith, who raised Calvin from the age of 11. After Calvin's father died a year later, Clark adopted the boy. The senior Griffith owned the Washington Senators from 1920 until his death in 1955; upon his death, the team passed into the hands of Calvin, who had worked up through a variety of positions with the team, starting as a batboy, and serving a brief stint under Joe Engel and the Chattanooga Lookouts at Engel Stadium.

                    Under Calvin Griffith's ownership, just a few years after his father's death, Calvin moved the Senators to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota in 1961. They were renamed the Minnesota Twins. Famous for his sayings ("He'll either be the best manager in baseball - or the worst," he said when he gave a young Billy Martin his first manager job), one of his most infamous landed him in trouble in 1978, drawing charges of racism. Speaking at a Lions Club dinner in Waseca, Minnesota, Griffith was quoted as saying:

                    "I'll tell you why we came to Minnesota. It was when we found out you only had 15,000 blacks here. Black people don't go to ballgames, but they'll fill up a rassling ring and put up such a chant it'll scare you to death. We came here because you've got good, hardworking white people here."

                    When his quote was reported in the Minneapolis Tribune, Griffith offered a conflicting defense: that his quotes had been taken out of context, that he had been misquoted entirely, and that he was joking, trying to get a laugh out of the crowd.[1] His best player, Rod Carew (already in a bitter contract dispute with Griffith), immediately declared he no longer desired to be "another ****** on (Griffith's) plantation." That off-season, Carew was traded to the California Angels.

                    In 1984, buffeted by the changes in baseball brought about by free agency, Griffith sold the Twins to Minneapolis banker Carl Pohlad; Griffith wept at the signing ceremony.

                    Griffith died on October 20, 1999 at the age of 87. Ironically, he was buried back in Washington, D.C., a city he rarely visited after he moved the Senators to Minnesota, and as a result made him one of most disliked figures in Washington sports.
                    September 28, 1954: L-R: Calvin Griffith, Clarence Miles, owner of the Baltimore Orioles, Clark Griffith. At the meeting of American League club owners at the Hotel Commodore. The meeting was called to discuss the "situation" of the Philadelphia Athletics and the possibility of transferring the A's franchise to Kansas City.
                    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-09-2009, 03:17 PM.


                    • August 'Garry' Herrmann:

                      Owner: Cincinnati Reds: 1902 - 1927

                      Born: May 3, 1859, Cincinnati, OH
                      Died: April 25, 1931, Cincinnati, OH, age 71---d. pneumonia

                      Wikipedia: August "Garry" Herrmann (May 3, 1859 - April 25, 1931) was an American executive in Major League Baseball who served as president of the Cincinnati Reds of the National League from 1902 to 1927. As the president of baseball's National Commission from 1903 to 1920, he is often regarded as having filled the role of Baseball Commissioner before that position was officially established in 1920.

                      In 1852 and in 1873, Cincinnati held Turner festivals, and by the late 19th century, American Turner festivals became quadrennial gatherings. Cincinnati hosted the national competition in 1909 from June 19 to 27, nearly turning the entire city into a German village for the celebration. The chairman was August “Garry” Herrmann, a Cincinnati German American beloved by the local citizens. Herrmann was a longtime city administrator, a political henchman of Boss George B. Cox. In 1902, Herrmann became a co-owner and president of the Cincinnati Reds, and over the next two decades was arguably the most powerful man in American sports. He chaired Organized Baseball’s National Commission, negotiated the beginning of the modern World Series, experimented with night baseball, was a national leader in the American Bowling Congress, and even had a racehorse named after him.

                      A Turner himself, Herrmann often represented Cincinnati’s ethnic Germans at festivals, celebrations, and, in Republican politics. The image of the florid, flamboyant “Garry,” with his loud suits, diamond stickpins, and love for sausage and beer, belied the knowledgeable, hard-headed businessman who could create a national festival like the Turnfest and keep it within budget.

                      October 8, 1915: World Series at Philadelphia:
                      L-R: (Former Gov. of Pa, John Tener, now Pres. NL); Ban Johnson (Pres. AL); and Garry Hermann, (Chairman National Commission / Owner Cincinnati.)

                      Garry Herrmann/Ban Johnson: Attending 1914 World Series, Fenway Park, Boston.

                      World Series Game 2, October 9, 1916, Fenway Park, Boston, MA Edward J. McKeever, (Co-Owner of Brooklyn Dodgers); Ben Shibe; Garry Herrmann, Cincinnati owner), Joseph Flanner (Secretary on Herrmann's Commission)
                      Benjamin Sanders Minor:

                      Owner: Washington Senators, 1912 - 1919
                      Attornney/President of team: 1912 - 1919

                      Born: July 21, 1865, Comorn, Virginia
                      Died: September 27, 1946, Washington, DC, age 81,---d. at home, after a 3 week illness.

                      Graduated: University of Virginia

                      Washington Star newspaper owner Thomas C. Noyes along with an ownership group of Benjamin Minor, Harry Rapley and others bought the team in 1905, hiring Jake Stahl as manager.

                      On August 21, 1912, 40-year-old team president (Washington Senators) Thomas C. Noyes died of pneumonia and was replaced by Benjamin Minor, a prominent Washington attorney. With the demands of his successful law practice, Minor was unable to devote the necessary time to the team. With the loss of Noyes, the ownership group subsequently sold the controlling interest (80%) to Clark Griffith and Philadelphia grain dealer, William Richardson in 1919.
                      Mr. Minor served in a variety of capacities to the Washington team/AL. He was a lawyer for the team, and later served on the AL Board of Directors, under Ban Johnson. Wife Neenah, Church, Episcopal

                      1913-1915: Top Row: L-R: Frank Navin (Detroit owner), Joe Lannin (Red Sox owner), Frank J. Farrell (NY Highlanders' owner).
                      Seated: L-R: Charles Comiskey (White Sox owner), Ban Johnson (AL Pres.), Benjamin S. Minor (Washington Pres.).

                      Thomas Clarence Noyes:

                      Owner: Washington Senators, 1905 - August 21, 1912

                      Born: January 14, 1868, Washington, DC (his DOB is disputed)
                      Died: August 21, 1912, Washington, DC, age 43---d. suddenly at Homeopathic Hospital Hospital, at 11 o'clock, morning of Wednesday, pneumonia.

                      Graduated from Princeton University, 1899.
                      Upon graduation he came to Washington to work on the staff as a city reporter. Was then promoted to assistant city editor, city editor, news editor, and finally, on the death of his father, treasurer, which he held until his own death.

                      He was elected to the Board of Trade in 1895, was made a director in 1910, and November 2, 1911, was elected President.

                      Washington Star newspaper owner/news editor Thomas C. Noyes along with an ownership group of Benjamin Minor, Harry Rapley and others bought the team in 1905, hiring Jake Stahl as manager. Thomas' father, Crosby G. Noyes, had been an editor on the Washington Star.

                      On August 21, 1912, 40-year-old team president (Washington Senators) Thomas C. Noyes died of pneumonia and was replaced by Benjamin Minor, a prominent Washington attorney.

                      Mother: Mrs. Crosby S. Noyes; Brother: Frank B. Noyes; Brother: Theodore W. Noyes. Sister: Mrs. George W. Boyd.

                      He was President of the Washington Board of Trade, and a past master of his local Masonic Lodge.
                      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 12-22-2011, 10:39 AM.


                      • Robert Lee Hedges:

                        Owner: St. Louis Browns, 1903 -1915

                        Born: July 1, 1868, Hickman Mills, MO
                        Died: April 23, 1932, St. Louis,MO, age 63,--- d. Carcinoma of left lung, at Barnes Hosp, St. Louis, MO, buried in Cincinnati, OH on Apr. 25, 1932.

                        Father: George, born Kentucky; Mother: Elizabeth, born Virginia; Wife: Pauline Davis.

                        Following the 1901 season, the Milwaukee Brewers franchise of the fledgling American League was bought for $35,000 by 33-year-old Robert Lee Hedges, who moved the club to St. Louis, renaming it the Browns. He cleaned up Sportsman's Park where the club played and the Browns over the next dozen years drew well and were profitable. He kept his grandstand meticulously clean, didn't allow rowdies, the saloon bar was eliminated from the park. Built modern grandstand. Another rival major league, the Federal League, was formed in 1913, and after completing two seasons it agreed to disband. As part of the settlement with Major League Baseball, Hedges sold the Browns to one of the owners of the St. Louis Terriers, in the by-then-defunct Federal League, Philip DeCatesby Ball, for $525,000. Hedges made a tidy profit on his investment in the team, becoming the last owner of the Browns to make money on the club. He also held the distinction of giving Branch Rickey his start as a baseball executive, naming him the Browns' manager.

                        Son: Robert Lee Hedges, Jr.; Born: June 28, 1896 - Died April 29, 1950 of cancer, Montclair, NJ.


                        -------------------------Missouri Death Certificate.

                        Joseph John Lannin:

                        Owner: Boston Red Sox, 1913 - November, 1916

                        Born: April 23, 1866, nr. Quebec, Canada
                        Died: May 15, 1928, Brooklyn, NY, age 62,
                        d.---Fell from the 9th floor of one of his hotels, The Hotel Granada, in Brooklyn, NY. Cause of fall was unclear, and never conclusively determined.

                        Real estate tycoon; owner of Hotel Granada, Lafayette St. & Rockaway Place, Brooklyn, NY & Garden City Hotel, Garden City, LI, NY.
                        9th of 10 kids, left Quebec area, due to economics, in 1880's, started as bellhop Adams Hotel, then doorman, then management. Invested in coffee futures/real estate, loved BB/ checkers. June 26, 2004, Canadian BB Hall of Fame induction.

                        Wikipedia article:
                        Joseph J. Lannin (April 23, 1866 - 15 May 1928) was a Canadian-born American baseball entrepreneur.

                        He was born in Lac-Beauport, Quebec, Canada, the son of Irish immigrants.

                        Orphaned at the age of 14, Joseph Lannin migrated with the flood of French-Canadians from Quebec seeking work in the booming textile mills of New England. However, arriving in Boston, Massachusetts the ambitious young man chose to work as a hotel bellman. Although he had limited education, Lannin was personable and possessed a quick mind. He soon learned about real estate and the commodities market by listening to the conversations of the wealthy patrons at his hotel and taking advice from those who were willing to share their insights with him.

                        A confident and knowledgeable Joseph Lannin invested his savings in the commodities market, making a small fortune. From there he began to acquire other businesses and eventually built an empire of hotels, apartment buildings, and golf courses.

                        In 1914 he purchased the Boston Red Sox baseball team and in that same year he purchased the rights to bring Babe Ruth to Boston resulting in his team winning the World Series in 1915 and 1916.

                        Joseph Lannin sold the team in 1917 to Harry Frazee for $200,000. The "astute" Frazee in turn recovered a large part of the purchase price by selling Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for the then astounding amount of $125,000.

                        With profit made from the sale of his team, Mr. Lannin continued to invest in real estate ventures in Boston and across New York State.

                        He acquired Roosevelt Airfield where Charles Lindbergh began his historic transatlantic flight. Lannin provided Lindbergh with a room at his nearby hotel and watched the takeoff from Roosevelt Airfield on May 20, 1927.

                        Never forgetting his impoverished beginnings, Joseph Lannin became a large benefactor to his community until his death on May 15, 1928, aged 62.

                        He is interred at the Holyrood Cemetery, Garden City, New York.

                        October 9, 1916, Fenway Park, Boston: World Series: Game 2----------------------------------------------------Same photo session, Owner Lannin shakes hands with his manager Bill Carrigan
                        L-R: Joe Lannin (Red Sox owner), Ban Johnson (AL Pres.), John Tener (NL Pres.), Garry Herrmann (Reds' owner)-------------Lannin' son Paul is standing in between
                        The gentlemen pictured between Ban Johnson and John Tener is Joseph Flanner, secretary on Herrmann's Commission.

                        1913-1915: Top Row: L-R: Frank Navin (Detroit owner), Joe Lannin (Red Sox owner), Frank J. Farrell (NY Highlanders' owner).
                        Seated: L-R: Charles Comiskey (White Sox owner), Ban Johnson (AL Pres.), Benjamin S. Minor (Washington Pres.).

                        -----------------Around 1914

                        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 12-08-2011, 03:24 PM.


                        • Helene Hathaway Britton:

                          Owner: St. Louis Cardinals, March 24, 1911 - 1916

                          Born: July, 1879, Cleveland, OH
                          Died: January 8, 1950, Philadelphia, PA, age 70

                          Baseball Biography Project: Article by Joan M. Thomas--

                          In 1898, the owner of the franchise Chris Von der Ahe and his corporation were bankrupt, which led to the purchase by brothers, Frank DeHauss Robison / Martin Stanley Robison. The Robinson Brothers called the team St. Louis Perfectos in 1899. The St. Louis Republic sportswriter William McHale started calling the team the "Cardinals" and by 1900 the nickname was accepted.

                          Helene's father, Frank Robison died in 1908, and the team passed to his brother, Martin Stanley, Helene's uncle.

                          Joan M. Thomas writes, in the Baseball Biography Project - "In 1901 Helene married Schuyler P. Britton, a Cleveland attorney employed in a printing business, and was living with him, their two children, and her mother at her family home by the lake at the time of Stanley's death, March 24, 1911. Reports indicate that Helene and her mother initially considered selling the Cardinals to Charles Weeghman of Chicago, but they quickly decided to keep and operate the club as its late owner had requested."

                          The ownership of the club passed to Robison's daughter, Helene Hathaway Britton, when she was willed 75% of the stock. Mrs. Britton bought out Manager Roger Bresnahan's contract and hired Miller Huggins. She made her husband, Schuyler P. Britton, temporary President of the team.

                          Known in the press as 'Lady Bee', she changed the name of the ballpark to Robison Field, as a memorial to her father Frank and uncle Stanley Robison, when she inherited the team and park from her uncle Stanley on his death in 1911. On May 21, 1912, she was granted full control of the team, when Circuit Judge Grimm disallowed an administator of Stanley's estate, Edward A. Steininger, from voting to steal the shares her uncle had willed her.

                          On February 8, 1913, her husband, Schuyler Pearson Britton was elected president of the Cardinals' baseball team. They had married in 1901.

                          1916: After another terrible 60-93 season the Cardinals are sold by Helene Hathaway Britton, in July 1916 to her attorney, James C. Jones, and stockholders, including a St. Louis automobile dealer named Sam Breadon for $350,000. The first payment of $175,000. was made on May 3, 1917, with the balance to be paid off in 3 years. By August 14, 1918, approximately $123,000. was still due her.

                          She divorced her husband, Schuyler P. Britton, in 1917. The finalized status of her divorce was granted on February 12, 1917.

                          Whatever the case, Schuyler Britton began a strong flirtation with the bottle. He began to stay out to all hours of the night with extreme regularity. As his wife's divorce petition testifies, their marriage was emotionally terminated in the early morning hours of November 7, 1916. Britton had returned home around 2 a.m., only to find that his wife had locked him out of their mansion. In a drunken rage he almost broke down the door. When she finally did admit him, she testifies that he "nearly set fire to the house" with his careless use of a cigar. After a heated argument, Britton packed some of his things and never came back. Later that morning Helene Britton assumed the title of President of the Cardinals, making her the first woman to openly hold such a title in the annals of baseball history.

                          She married Charles Sulyard Bigsby, of Cleveland, a widower, announcing it on August 19, 1918. He was an electrical appliance distributor from Boston and he died around 1935.

                          Schuyler Pearson Britton

                          Born: November 5, 1875, Cleveland, OH
                          Died: October 11, 1947, Cleveland, OH, age 71
                          occupation: traveling salesman for his family's printing house; both parents born in Massachusetts

                          Schuyler was a Cleveland attorney employed in a printing business. Married Helene, October 29, 1901 in Cleveland, OH; Elected Cardinals' President, 1913; Fired as President by wife Helene, November 7, 1916; divorced by Helene, 1917; Re-married Bessie M. Finch on August 8, 1923 in Detroit, MI. Father: Joseph W. Britton. Mother: Salome Pearson.

                          Charles Sulyard Bigsby
                          Born: April, 1871, London, England
                          Died: October 23, 1935, age 74

                          Wife: Blanche E. Sargent, born Cleveland, OH; Daughter: Wanda Louise Bigsby, born November 4, 1898, Cleveland, OH; Son: James Sargent Bigsby, born November 19, 1896, Cleveland, OH; Daughter: Maud L. Bibsby, born November 4, 1898, Detroit, MI; Charles married Blanche around 1895.

                          Immigated to US: 1873; Married Helene, 1918.

                          -------------Husband Schuyler P. Britton/Helene Britton------------------------------------------------------------------------------Husband Schuyler P. Britton.
                          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-25-2013, 07:57 AM.


                          • Orvon Gene Autry:

                            Owner: Los Angeles Angels, 1960 - 1996

                            Born: September 29, 1907, Tioga,TX
                            Died: October 2, 1998, Studio City,CA, age 91,---d. cancer, buried Forrest Lawn, Hollywood Hills, CA

                            Also functioned as President, (1977 - 1990)
                            In 1990, due to his illness, his wife Jackie assumed
                            the active overseeing of the team operation.


                            In 1960, when Major League Baseball announced plans to add an expansion team in Los Angeles, Autry – who had once declined an opportunity to play in the minor leagues – expressed an interest in acquiring the radio broadcast rights to the team's games; baseball executives were so impressed by his approach that he was persuaded to become the owner of the franchise rather than simply its broadcast partner. The team, initially called the Los Angeles Angels upon its 1961 debut, moved to suburban Anaheim in 1966 and became known as the California Angels, then the Anaheim Angels from 1997 until 2005, when it became the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Autry served as vice president of the American League from 1983 until his death. In 1995 he sold a quarter share of the team to The Walt Disney Company, and a controlling interest the following year, with the remaining share to be transferred after his death. Earlier, in 1982, he sold Los Angeles television station KTLA for $245 million.

                            January 17, 1986, with wife.

                            John Wilmer Galbreath:

                            Owner: Pittsburgh Pirates, 1946 - 1985

                            Born: August 10, 1897, Derby, OH
                            Died: July 20, 1988, Columbus, OH, age 90

                            Wife: Dorothy Bryan, born September 4, 1902, died February 24, 1986, La Gorce Island, FL.

                            Pirates' Owner (1946-1985, President, 1951 - 1969) part of 4 man syndicate (1946) purchasing team. In 1951 bought 70% of club, hired Branch Rickey. Lost around $2m but never lost faith & heart. Helped formulate 1957 player's pension. Sold majority interest (1985) in Pirates. Made his money breeding champion racehorses.
                            John W. Galbreath graduated from Ohio University in 1922 the same year he founded the John W. Galbreath Company. He was not only a gentleman's, philanthropist, and keen businessman, but was named "Greatest Sportsman Of Our Time" in 1985 by The Columbus Touchdown Club at their annual gala. John passed away July 20th 1988.

                            DARBY DAN FARM was founded by John W. Galbreath in 1935. Over the years, the Galbreath family has built Darby Dan from the original 85 acres to the current 4,000 acres. This includes 750 acres of blue grass pasture, 250 acres in woods, with the remaining 3000 acres in corn, soy beans and wheat fields. The Darby House sits on the original 85 acres.

                            On the west side of of Big Darby Creek 110 acres have been converted into wild animal preserve. Animals include zebra, buffalo, deer, elk and antelope roam freely in large fenced pastures. The Galbreath family continue to support wild life preservation and propagation, through their support of Ducks Unlimited, The Nature Conservatory, The World Wild Life Federation and other organizations dedicated to conservation.

                            Big Darby Creek runs straight through the farm and is a protected designated National and State "Scenic Waterway" that flows through the Darby Plain and extends west and south down the Ohio River into the state of Kentucky. Darby Dan Farm is named for the creek and John's son Dan.

                            The farm include a 1/8 mile training track plus a six-stall starting gate, used to school the yearlings. There is a thirty-two stall training barn, which incorporates a completely covered 1/8 mile track. In addition, there are 21 other large barns with 100 stalls, a large cattle barn, a breeding barn, and a stallion barn. Also located on the property are 39 houses.

                            THE GALBREATH RACING LEGACY
                            Darby Dan Farm bred and raced Chateaugay, 1963 Kentucky Derby winner, Proud Clarion, 1967 Kentucky Derby winner, Roberto, 1972 English Derby winner and Proud Truth, 1985 Breeder's Cup Classic winner. In addition, champions Primonetta, Little Current, Tempest Queen and Sunshine Forever were raised and raced under the Darby Dan banner. Darby Dan Farm is one of two places in the world to both breed and own the Derby winners on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean; the Kentucky Derby and the English Derby.

                            THE PITTSBURGH PIRATES DYNASTY
                            John Galbreath was the franchise owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1945 to 1985. Under John's tenure the Pirates won three world championships in 1960, 1971 and 1979. Mr. Galbreath was the first owner to break the "Million Dollar Mark" when he signed Dave Parker to a multiple year contract in 1979. He also had the privilege of signing Hall of Fame player Roberto Clemente. John was often seen at the top of the big hill at Darby Dan Farm in the front seat of his convertible, watching the sun set and listening to the Pirates on the car AM radio.

                            L-R: John W. Galbreath, Frank E. McKinney, H. Roy Hamey, top men in Pirates' organization.
                            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-30-2011, 07:06 AM.


                            • Joan (Whitney) Payson:

                              Owner: New York Mets, 1961 - 1968

                              Born: February 5, 1903, New York City
                              Died: October 4, 1975, New York City, age 72

                              Principal owner of Mets, (1961 - 1968), President (1968 - 1975).
                              Buried: Falmouth Forside Cemetery, Falmouth-Ford Forside, ME


                              Joan Whitney Payson was a sports enthusiast who was a minority shareholder in the old New York Giants Major League Baseball club. She voted against transferring the team to San Francisco, California in 1957 but after the majority of the shareholders approved the move, Ms. Payson sold her stock and began working to get a replacement team for New York City. In 1961, she was the co-founder and majority owner of the New York Mets and served as the team's president from 1968-1975. Active in the affairs of the baseball club, she was much admired by the team's personnel and players. She was inducted posthumously into the Mets' Hall of Fame in 1981. She was also the first woman to be a majority owner of a team in a major North American sports league.

                              -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------June 22, 1963, Polo Grounds, with Casey Stengel / wife.
                              -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Joan is in the middle.

                              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-09-2009, 01:06 PM.


                              • Margaret (Unnewehr) Schott:

                                Owner: Cincinnati Reds, 1985 - April 20, 1999

                                Born: August 28, 1928, Cincinnati, OH
                                Died: March 2, 2004, Cincinnati, OH, age 75,---d. Cincinatti hosp.

                                Continually embarrassed MLB because she just couldn't grasp how her racial & ethnic beliefs & remarks could offend & infuriate so many people. MLB forced her to sell her controlling interest in Reds.

                                Bought her team, like Joan Payson, as opposed to other female owners who inherited theirs from their husbands: Joan Kroc, Jean Yawkey, Ida Shibe, Florence Dreyfuss, Edith Pross, Grace Comiskey. Gave generously to charities.

                                Biography Resource Center:
                                Throughout the decade and a half that she was owner of Major League Baseball's (MLB) Cincinnati Reds, Marge Schott managed to offend just about everyone--including players, fans, and her fellow owners--with the use of racial slurs and other insensitive remarks. Twice suspended by the MLB for such comments, Schott remained feisty and combative until the end, which came in the early fall of 1999 when Schott sold her controlling interest in the Reds to a group headed by Carl H. Lindner. A day after handing over control of the Reds to Lindner, Schott told Michael Perry of the Cincinnati Enquirer: "I think I tried my best, I really do. When I came in, there wasn't much attendance . . . I was able to survive 15 years and turn the Reds around financially and . . . also we had some wins. I don't think a lot of owners have even won the World Series [her Reds did in 1990]--although I got reprimanded for sweeping. But I couldn't help that. I'm not too ashamed of what we've accomplished."

                                She was born Margaret Unnewehr in Cincinnati, Ohio, on August 18, 1928. The second of five daughters born to Edward and Charlotte Unnewehr, she grew up as a fan of the Reds, Cincinnati's hometown baseball team. Her love of sports strengthened her ties to her father, who called his second daughter "Butch." Of her father, Schott told Sports Illustrated: "My poor father, he kept trying to have a son, and he kept getting girls." Unnewehr eventually brought Marge into the lumber business, but she stayed in the family business only briefly. Between 1950 and 1952, she attended the University of Cincinnati but dropped out after meeting and marrying Cincinnatian Charles J. Schott, heir to an industrial fortune. The couple moved to a 70-acre enclave in Cincinnati's posh Indian Hills neighborhood, where the childless Marge played mother to the family menagerie of animals and gracious hostess at scores of memorable society affairs.

                                Schott experienced a major personal loss in 1968 when her 42-year-old husband suffered a massive heart attack and died. With little business experience beyond the brief stint with her family's lumber business, Schott suddenly found herself the owner of Schottco Corporation, a holding company for a wide variety of businesses, including a brick manufacturing company, an insurer, a shopping center, a concrete products factory, and an automobile dealership. The dealership, one of the largest in Ohio, had never made much money, so Schott decided to focus her energies on trying to turn Schott Buick around financially. She got little help. General Motors executives were reluctant to turn the franchise over to a woman. When she discovered that some of the dealership's managers were plotting to force her out of the business, she moved decisively, firing the managers and moving up lower ranking employees to fill their slots. Using eye-catching promotions and waving the "Buy-American" banner, Schott managed to turn things around for the dealership. In less than three years, sales at Schott Buick had jumped forty percent, convincing GM that Schott deserved to retain the franchise. By 1980, she had opened a second GM dealership, Marge's Chevrolet.

                                A lifelong Reds fan, Schott in 1981 became a limited partner in the baseball team. She told the Cincinnati Enquirer she bought her small share in the Reds "as a token of respect to my late husband." The team in the early 1980s had fallen on hard times: attendance was way down and most of the best players had been either sold or traded by the conservative Reds management. With only a small share in the team, Schott felt powerless to end the team's steady decline. She later told the Cincinnati Enquirer: "It was very frustrating sitting back and watching some of the stuff. It just kept getting so bad, it got to the point where finally you have to speak up." Her chance to do something came in 1984 when the Reds' general partners--William and James Williams--decided to sell the team after four consecutive years of losses. Schott was able to buy the team for $13 million "as a Christmas present to the city," she told People.

                                A little more than six months after she became a general partner in the Reds, Schott was named president and chief executive officer of the Reds organization. She seemed to revel in the celebrity of being the owner of a major league ball club. Some of her favorite moments came when she paraded around the field before game time with "Schottzie," her pet St. Bernard, greeting her own players and those of the opposing team. And she did manage to turn the Reds around, basking in the glow of some of the team's more notable successes. These included Pete Rose's record-breaking 4,192nd hit on September 11, 1985; pitcher Tom Browning's perfect game on September 16, 1988; and the team's fifth world championship in 1990. In the process, she went through a total of five general managers and seven managers. One of the latter--Davey Johnson--was fired because he lived with his fiancée before marriage, while another--Ray Knight--was hired partly because Schott liked his wife, pro golfer Nancy Lopez.

                                A notorious penny-pincher, Schott closely monitored spending by the Reds organization, down to keeping track of the number of pens and pencils in the front office. She slashed spending for the Reds minor league farm system and said she hated spending for talent scouts because "all they do is watch games." Sadly, Schott's insensitive remarks largely overshadowed her positive contributions to the Reds. On February 3, 1993, Schott was fined $25,000 and banned from the day-to-day operations of the Reds for a year for using racial epithets.

                                Interviewed by ESPN in May 1996, Schott said she believed that Hitler "was good in the beginning but went too far," setting off a new round of controversy and again bringing down the wrath of Major League Baseball upon her head. On June 12, 1996, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig ordered that Schott relinquish control of the team through the end of the 1998 season. The suspension is later extended to include the 1999 season, during which time Schott negotiated the sale of the team to a investor group led by fellow Cincinnatian Carl H. Lindner, chairman and CEO of American Financial Group Inc. In October 1999, Schott received $67 million for her shares in the team.

                                A lifelong resident of Cincinnati, Schott lives there still. Although she retains some token holdings in the Cincinnati Reds, she has not been involved in the team's management since she was forced to sell her majority interest in 1999. But she will forever remain one of the biggest fans of her hometown baseball team, and she still has seats at the Reds' Cinergy Field, where she cheers on the Reds whenever she can. Since stepping down as the Reds' majority owner, Schott has been plagued by illness and injury. In 1999, she was hospitalized at Cincinnati's Jewish Hospital with a bout of seasonal allergy, and she was hospitalized several times during 2001 and 2002 with breathing problems. Schott remains active in civic affairs and has made a couple of sizeable contributions to Cincinnati's St. Ursula Academy. An animal lover, Schott again made news in early 2002 when she offered to make a home for a runaway cow at her 70-acre Indian Hill estate.

                                There can be no argument that Marge Schott and her business skills helped the Cincinnati Reds recover from one of their biggest slumps--in terms of both finances and morale--ever. In a statement released after the sale of the Reds was finalized, new owner Lindner said of Schott: "I've known her for a long time, including her many years as an owner of the Reds. She has always kept the fans first in her mind. For that, all of Cincinnati should thank her and join me in wishing her the very best." Unfortunately, much of the good Schott accomplished may eventually be forgotten in the shadow of some of the insensitive remarks attributed to her over the years.

                                Reds' Owner Marge Schott and her Manager, Pete Rose, 1988-89.----------------September 10, 1985
                                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-19-2009, 08:24 PM.


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