After 16 seasons as Miami Marlins owner, Jeffrey Loria is expected to reportedly sell the ballclub to a group led by former presidential candidate and ex-Florida Governor Jeb Bush along with future Hall of Fame honoree and Yankee great Derek Jeter.
Loria, often considered the worst owner in professional sports, began appearing in the media after buying a small $18 million stake in the now defunct Montreal Expos. The businessman and art collector proceeded to gain full control of the team and sell it, angering generational fans north of the border and contributing to the disbandment of that franchise. After the $120 million sell, he bought the Marlins with help through the form of a loan from Major League Baseball.
Throughout his tenure, Loria took the franchise through a series of ups and downs. After winning the World Series the year he bought the team in 2003, Loria sold many key players such as Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell and has not returned to the playoffs since. He successfully maneuvered the building of Marlins Park on the grounds of the historic Miami Orange Bowl, in a overwhelmingly unpopular move that forced taxpayers to cover most of the costs.
According to Bloomberg, Jeter and Bush lead a group that won the bid earlier today for a hefty $1.3 billion. Other potential buyers included businessman Wayne Rothbaum and a group led by Tagg Romney and Hall of Fame honoree Tom Glavine.
Derek Jeter, now 42 years old, won five World Series rings with the New York Yankees. Since retiring from baseball in 2014, Jeter has taken two years off but will revamp his baseball career in a different form. Many hope Jeter will bring his winning attitude and tradition to the Marlins.
Jeb Bush has franchise ownership in his blood. George W. Bush, his brother and former president of the United States, owned the Texas Rangers from 1989 to 1997. Bush will be at the helm but Jeter will play an important role too.
The contract will take a couple of months to complete as the group now needs 75 percent approval from the rest of the Major League owners.