Nashville's Pitch? African American Ownership
Updated: Aug 23
(CU News) - The Nashville MLB bid continues to build an impressive portfolio of talent within their ownership group. The team already has a name, the Nashville Stars, inspired by a Negro Leagues team that once played in the city.
The Negro Leagues angle is an important one, as the group is positioning the Nashville bid as the first African-American majority ownership in Major League Baseball,The latest name in baseball to join the Nashville MLB bid is former Tigers and Red Sox GM Dave Dombrowski, as businessman John Loar continues to assemble an ownership/management group for a relocating or new Major League Baseball team.
Loar’s group under the Music City Baseball LLC (MCB) umbrella includes former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and retired MLB pitcher and former Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart, with Gonzales serving as board chairman and Stewart a board member. There is also a broad slate of advisors attached to the effort, including Hall of Fame manager Tony LaRussa, Vanderbilt baseball coach Tim Corbin, and Negro Leagues Baseball Museum president Bob Kendrick.
Dave Stewart outlined the importance of the team’s formula, per USA Today:
“This is what baseball should do,” Stewart told USA TODAY Sports. “They should open the doors to Black ownership, diverse ownership. This is the time for baseball to do something they’ve never done. For what this country is going through, and what baseball is going through, there will be a residual effect. This is history. Think about it, we’ve never had Black ownership in baseball. There’s Magic [Johnson] and [Derek] Jeter, but that’s not real Black ownership because their stakes are so small."'
In the uncertain economic times surrounding COVID-19, MLB has a primary responsibility to make sure they can keep their teams on the field for the 2020 baseball season. While the prospect of moving a team to Nashville or expanding anytime soon seems unlikely given the bleak financial outlook across the country we can only hope for the opportunity.