Cal Ripken Jr. and Grant Hill are part of the investor group that has agreed to buy the Baltimore Orioles, and so are former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke.
The group is headed by Baltimore native David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group. Additional investors were revealed in a news release Wednesday announcing the agreement between Rubenstein and the Angelos family.
“I am excited to once again be a part of the Orioles organization and I thank David for including me in the ownership group,” Ripken said in a statement. “The Orioles have been a part of my life since I was a child, and this is a special day.”
The Angelos family has run the team for the past three decades and is selling a control stake in the team to Rubenstein for $1.725 billion.
“I am grateful to the Angelos family for the opportunity to join the team I have been a fan of my entire life. I look forward to working with all the Orioles owners, players and staff to build upon the incredible success the team has achieved in recent seasons,” Rubenstein said. “Our collective goal will be to bring a World Series trophy back to the city of Baltimore. To the fans I say: We do it for you and can’t do it without you.”
John Angelos, the club’s current chairman, will remain as a senior adviser.
“I am personally committed to helping David and his partners take the franchise to the next level,” Angelos said. “We think this transaction is great for Major League Baseball and great for the city of Baltimore and Maryland. We are thankful to the fans and supporters cheering on the O’s as we reached this important goal — and who will be with us celebrating more success to come.”
Rubenstein’s investment team includes Ripken and Hill, who in addition to being Hall of Famers in baseball and basketball have ties to the extended area. Ripken, of course, is an Orioles legend who was born in Havre de Grace, Maryland. Hill is from northern Virginia, not far from Washington.
Other members of the investment group include Bloomberg, Schmoke, Ares Management co-founder Michael Arougheti, Ares Credit Group co-heads Mitchell Goldstein and Michael Smith, and Cognosante founder Michele Kang, who also owns the Washington Spirit of the NWSL.
The sale is subject to a full vote of Major League Baseball ownership and must receive 75% approval.
The Angelos family has been in control of the Orioles since 1993, when Peter Angelos purchased the team for $173 million. Angelos’ son John is the team’s current chairman, and the Orioles recently reached a deal on a new lease extension at Camden Yards.
“Governor Moore, the Maryland Stadium Authority, and the entire Moore-Miller Administration send their congratulations to Baltimore native David Rubenstein, Michael Bloomberg, Kurt Schmoke, Mike Arougheti, NBA legend Grant Hill, and Maryland native and Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr. on their deal to purchase the Baltimore Orioles. The governor looks forward to continuing the strong relationship between the State of Maryland and the Baltimore Orioles,” said Carter Elliott, a spokesman for Maryland Gov. Wes Moore.
“Governor Moore would like to thank the Angelos family for their contributions to the Orioles community and this storied franchise. Keeping the Orioles in Baltimore for the long term was a key priority for this administration and we are proud that this transaction won’t change that.”
The Angelos family will keep a significant investment in the team.
“When I took on the role of chair and CEO of the Orioles, we had the objective of restoring the franchise to elite status in major league sports, keeping the team in Baltimore for years to come, and revitalizing our partnership group,” John Angelos said. “This relationship with David Rubenstein and his partners validates that we have not only met but exceeded our goals.”
The Orioles won 101 games last season, their most since 1979, and their future is bright thanks to young stars Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson — as well as a farm system that has remained loaded even as top prospects moved on to the big leagues.
The team’s low payroll has been a sore spot with fans, but this sale offers hope that the Orioles might spend aggressively enough to make the most of the impressive foundation of talent they’ve built in recent years.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB