Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Baseball Magic Is Back In LA

By Allen Bacon, The Daily Bosco

As I listen to the opening game of the Major League Baseball Season this morning from Tokyo between the A's and Mariners... I am encouraged by not only the start of the new season but another baseball story that made the news yesterday.

Local Los Angeles sports icon Magic Johnson and a group of investors that includes longtime baseball exec Stan Kasten has agreed to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers for a record 2 Billion Dollars.

One Los Angeles institution is buying another and we Southern Californians who grew up with the Los Angeles Dodgers under the steady helm of the O'Malley Family and listened summer nights as the legendary Vin Sculley weaved the stories of the game of baseball into his play by play accounts, could not be happier. The years under Brit Rupert Murdoch and a couple from Boston.. the out of towners...are over.

The price will completely obliterate the price paid for a sports franchise. Stephen Ross paid $1.1 billion for the NFL's Miami Dolphins in 2009....Malcolm Glazer and his family took over the Manchester United soccer club in 2005 for $1.47 billion.

Mark Walter, chief executive officer of the financial services firm Guggenheim Partners, will become the controlling owner.

The deal is one of several steps toward a sale of the team by the end of April. It is subject to approval in federal bankruptcy court.

The acquiring group, called Guggenheim Baseball Management, has several other investors, among them Mandalay Entertainment chief executive Peter Guber, Guggenheim Partners president Todd Boehly and Bobby Patton, who operates oil and gas properties among his investments. Kasten is the former president of the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals.

Johnson is LA and is a winner. The 52-year-old Johnson played 13 seasons for the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five NBA championships and three MVP awards in a Hall of Fame career.

Johnson retired from the NBA in 1991 after being diagnosed with HIV. Since leaving basketball, he has been a successful businessman, investing in movie theaters, a production company and restaurants primarily in the Southern California Los Angeles Region. He has also been an activist in the fight against HIV.

This of course is what we wanted. An ownership group comprised of winners and Los Angeles People. This group appears to fit the bill on all points.

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