Major League Baseball or MLB is a popular sporting league within the United States, and like any other sport, it can be extremely profitable for certain teams. Like football or hockey players, baseball players have the opportunity to make millions of dollars throughout their careers and can gain numerous awards and accolades for their performance and service.
While most people who are fans of the MLB focus on the players, many people overlook the owners of some of these teams who are profiting in the millions and even billions. Here are the ten richest major league baseball team owners.
10 Robert Nutting
Robert Nutting is the owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the team alone has an estimated net worth of $1.3 billion. Robert Nutting and his family own a myriad of businesses and enterprises around the United States. A large amount of that money comes from their ownership of the Pirates. In addition to owning a major league baseball team since 2007, Robert Nutting also owns and is CEO of Ogden Newspapers, which operates in 12 states and publishes 40 newspapers daily, plus magazines and telephone directories.
The company also owns two profitable resorts: Seven Springs Mountain Resort and Hidden Valley Resort. Nutting has also developed philanthropic projects such as the charity, Pittsburgh Charities, which was established in 2010.
9 Jim Pohlad
Next, we have the owner of the Minnesota Twins. Jim Pohlad and his family have an estimated net worth of $3.8 billion as of the latest figures from 2015. In 1984, Jim Pohlad's father, Carl Pohlad purchased the Twins, and following his death in 2009, Jim overtook ownership of the team. However, the estimated worth of the Twins alone in 2018 is 1.15 million. The Polhads are major investors in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota) area and have contributed money to a variety of causes, charities and organizations from space to real estate to insurance and, of course, sports. The Pohlad's' ownership of the Twins accounts of 15% of their total net worth, and they pledged $185 million to build the Twin's stadium, Target Field.
8 John Henry, III
Next is the previous owner of the Florida Marlins baseball team and current co-owner of the Boston Red Sox, John W. Henry III, whose current net worth is estimated at 2.7 billion. Henry is a huge sports fan and his numerous holdings of sports companies prove it. Not only is Henry the co-owner of the Red Sox and Fenway Sports Group, he is also the majority holder of the English soccer team Liverpool FC and is a 1% shareholder in the New York Yankees. In addition, he is also co-owner of The Boston Globe newspaper. Henry first started out his MLB ownership career with his purchase of the Florida Marlins in 1999, a team which he sold in 2002 to buy the Boston Red Sox.
7 Mark Walter
Mark Walter owns a controlling interest in the Los Angeles Dodgers, which has an estimated net worth of $1.3 billion. Mark Walter is the current CEO of Guggenheim Partners, an investment firm, and thus has mass knowledge on how to handle his financials. Using his skills, Walter has racked up an impressive $3.8 billion as of September 2019. In 2012, along with an investment group (that included Magic Johnson) he purchased a controlling interest in the Los Angeles baseball team for $2.15 billion. Of his net worth, a majority of his money, around $1.1 billion is invested with his firm, Guggenheim Partners.
6 Arturo (Arte) Moreno
Moreno has a net worth of $3.1 billion as of September 2019 and made history in 2003 with his purchase of the Anaheim Angels, now known as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. With his purchase of the ball club, Moreno became the first Hispanic owner of an MLB team and quickly attracted more crowds by slashing the prices of tickets, souvenirs, and concessions.
Moreno has a portion of his money invested in stocks of major companies and purchased a Los Angeles area radio station in 2006 that airs Angels games and has recently expressed interest in purchasing two Fox Sports outlets that would provide television coverage of Angel games.
5 Ray Davis
Ray Davis is currently a co-owner and CEO of the Texas Rangers. Davis has an estimated net worth of $2.3 billion as of 9/19 and purchased the Rangers in 2010 with a group lead by past pitcher Nolan Ryan and Chuck Greenberg after the team emerged from bankruptcy. In 2011, Greenberg left the group and Ryan became the CEO, a position ceded to Davis in 2013. General Manager Jon Daniels handles the day-to-day affairs of the team while Davis remains a background player. Davis has $200 million in the Texas Rangers and has made most of his money in the energy sector, serving as CEO of Energy Transfer Partners in 2004 and owning $865 million of Energy Transfer Partners stocks and securities.
4 Joe Ricketts
Next on this list are Joe Ricketts and his family with a current net worth of $2.7 billion. Ricketts began his career by trading online stocks and was a pioneer in the industry. In 1997, Ricketts took public the brokerage firm that he founded in Omaha, Nebraska in 1979, Ameritrade. In 2006 Ricketts purchased powerhouse accounting firm, TD Waterhouse, creating TD Ameritrade. In 2009, the Ricketts family purchased a 95% controlling interest in the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field and a 20% stake in SportsNet Chicago from Comcast the team is owned today by his four children, who are the majority owners of the team. The Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years in 2016.
3 Marian Ilitch
Marian Ilitch is the owner of the Detroit Tigers and was the wife of the late Mike Ilitch. Marian is a self-made woman and second richest in the United States. She has a net worth of $3.7 billion according to Forbes as of 9/19. Ilitch made her fortune by co-founding the pizza chain, Little Ceasers with her husband Mike, a company that hauls in over $4 billion in revenue each year. In addition to owning the Detroit Tigers, Marian also owns the Detroit Red Wings, an investment that has given her a 7,677% return. The Ilitches bought the Tigers in 1992 and have made over a $1 billion profit through her ownership.
2 Ted Lerner
Ninth on our list, we have the owner of the Washington Nationals. Theodore Lerner. Lerner's net worth is estimated at around $5.3 billion as of 9/19 and most of his money was generated by his real-estate business, Lerner Enterprises. Lerner Enterprises is the largest private landowner in Washington with holdings in residential, commercial, hotel and retail properties. The Nationals were moved from Montreal to their current location in Washington during the time of its purchase in 2002. Lerner holds most of his wealth in real estate equity, an estimated $2.2 billion, and also owns a multi-million dollar home in California, a huge stake in the Nationals and liquid assets.
1 Charles Bartlett Johnson
Finally, ending this list is Charles Bartlett Johnson. Johnson owns the San Francisco Giants and is the richest owner on this list with a net worth of $5.1 billion as of September 19. In 2012, Johnson became the team's majority owner at 26% after Bill Neukom resigned as CEO and general partner. Johson's wealth comes from the investment firm that his father, Rupert Johnson, Sr. started in 1947, Franklin Resources. Charles currently serves as the company's chairman, although he leaves the day-to-day operations to Larry Baer, the head of the ownership group. Johnson has $4.1 billion in Franklin Resources and $160 million in the San Francisco Giants.