The Double-A Harrisburg Senators this morning announced the sudden passing of principal owner and managing partner Mark Butler.
Butler, the co-founder and CEO of Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, died Sunday with his family, according to a company release. He was 61.
“We are just numb. This is a tragic loss for our community. Mark was such an important part of the culture of our organization,” said Senators president Kevin Kulp. “We were extremely fortunate to have had him guiding us. We’ve lost a great boss and a great friend. We’re committed to continuing on in his memory just the way he would have wanted ... with passion and integrity.”
Butler took over as the principal owner of the Nationals’ Double-A franchise in Harrisburg on Feb. 25, 2015. He was also the chairman of the Cal Ripken, Sr., Foundation. The foundation is committed to helping underserved youth achieve their full potential.
In 2013, through the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, Butler worked to fund and install a baseball field at the Boys and Girls Club in Harrisburg. His Mark L. Butler Foundation donated countless tickets and baseball experiences to inner city organizations so that they could enjoy Senators baseball.
“Mark was a dear friend, a mentor and so much more,” said Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. “He cared deeply about his community and brought passion and caring to everything he did. The entire team at the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation is devastated by the news of his passing and our thoughts are with his family and those closest to him.
“His contributions to so many causes, including ours, will be a significant part of his enduring legacy. To say that Mark will be dearly missed doesn’t nearly capture the magnitude that his life has had on so many.”
From the Senators’ press release on Butler:
“He was incredibly passionate about the Senators and would often spend his free time wandering amongst the crowd or entertaining his friends at FNB Field.”