The Nationals' low-A ball franchise, the Hagerstown Suns, is about to be sold to a local ownership group, according to a story in the Herald-Mail this morning. According to the report in the Hagerstown newspaper, the Nationals helped broker an investment partnership between Florida-based businessman Bruce Quinn and two Hagerstown-based investors, who wil be part of a group set to buy the team from Los Angeles-based Mandalay Entertainment Group for $6.7 million.
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo has said the team wants to extend its affiliation with Hagerstown, though the deal between the Nationals and Suns is up after the season and an extension has not been announced. The group, though, is headed by Florida-based businessman Bruce Quinn, who, according to the report, has some ties to the Nationals. Furthermore, the report said the Nationals helped put Quinn in touch with Hagerstown-based businessman Tony Dahbura, who became one of the partners in the ownership group. That level of interest would indicate the Nationals plan to maintain ties to the Hagerstown franchise for years to come.
And, Dahbura told the Herald-Mail, a local ownership group can be a boon to the Suns' success.
"I think that is extremely important," Dahbura said. "We have seen it in the past. There was too much of an outside corporation involvement. It takes something away. Locally owned businesses make a difference in the community. Minor league baseball allows for that because it is fun and quirky."