When the sale of the Orioles, for $1.725 billion, becomes official through Major League Baseball, Baltimore native David M. Rubenstein will become the fifth owner of the Orioles in team history that, of course, dates to 1954.
It will be a new era of Orioles baseball.
Maybe the best news for the new ownership group, which will include Oriole Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., is that they take over a team and organization on the rise.
There is no rebuilding to do, it’s rebuilt.
The task now is to build on that, try to stay on top and make all of the above better. As Rubenstein stated, bringing the first World Series title to Baltimore and the fans since 1983 tops the wish list.
For all the criticism the Angelos family gets, they made the right call to bring Mike Elias on board and suddenly we see a 101-win team and AL East champion. That is backed by the best farm system in the game and a prospect base littered not just with top 100 prospects, but top 50. The team has a new long-term lease.
We should be in the early stages of the next great era of Orioles baseball. The fanbase the new group inherits supports its team with passion and knowledge and likely will in more and more attendance numbers moving forward.
The Orioles certainly have more economic clout today (with a few billionaires in their group) and we all wait to see how that plays out. Even though the control of the team has not changed yet and may not for a while, the new group could start impacting any or all parts of the organization possibly soon.
Fans want the team to spend more on players and that day may be coming. But when and how, we don’t know yet.
MLB still must formerly approve this sale. When that happens, Rubenstein will join others that owned this club starting with Jerold C. Hoffberger (1953-1979), Edward Bennett Williams (1979-1989), Eli Jacobs (1989-1993) and Peter Angelos and his family (1993-present).
The team remains in local ownership and the Angelos family, who love the team and town, will continue to hold a sizable investment in the Orioles. John Angelos, who oversaw the hiring of Elias and spending in data, analytics, facilities and scouting and player development that has paid off huge for the club, will serve as senior advisor to the organization.
During Birdland Caravan, I yet again saw first-hand the passion for the team that exists throughout Birdland. Today those fans have even more to be excited about as they look to the future for the Orioles.
Here is the link to the story on the sale after it became official and was announced Wednesday afternoon.