SABR BioProject, Business of Baseball Committee launch new project on MLB team ownership histories

By Andy McCue
July 7, 2015

The SABR Baseball Biography Project and the SABR Business of Baseball Committee are teaming up to create a collection of the ownership histories of major league franchises.

As they are completed, the histories will appear in the Business of Baseball newsletter and be posted permanently in a separate section on the BioProject website.

If you are interested in doing a team’s history, or part of a team’s history, such as the St. Louis Browns years of the current Baltimore franchise, please contact Andy McCue (, who will be coordinating the project. The Dodgers are done, and writers have claimed the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs and Indians. But that means 25 other teams are available.

The histories should be as comprehensive as possible, covering the changes in ownership, the price paid, the makeup of partnerships, the division of responsibilities among the partners, the reasoning of both the buyers and the sellers, and economically significant events within the era of each ownership group. There is no need to talk about events on the field unless they have a direct impact on the bottom line or a change in ownership.

It is likely that arguments with cities over stadiums and threatened (or actual) re-locations will play a role in the essays. The histories should be long enough to tell the story, but should be as tight as possible. There is no set word limit. The essays should include endnotes on sources. Heavy detail, such as the holdings of minor partners, might well be left to those endnotes.

Research guidance will be available if needed. Over the long run, it will be necessary to keep updating these essays and the original researchers will be given first opportunity to do those updates.

This will be a great project for SABR and a great contribution to the field.

ANDY McCUE is a past president of SABR and the recipient of the 2015 Seymour Medal for his book, “Mover & Shaker: Walter O’Malley, the Dodgers, and Baseball’s Westward Expansion.”

Originally published: July 7, 2015. Last Updated: July 7, 2015.