Forget Derek Jeter. The announcement of the Miami Marlins being sold to the group that includes not just Jeter but Jeb Bush, bringing the Bush dynasty back into Major League Baseball.
It’s very well-known Former President George W. Bush purchased the Texas Rangers in 1989 and ran the team until 1994, when he ran for governor of Texas. He ultimately sold his shares in 1998, turning a $800,000 investment to $15 million, which help fund his presidential run.
But he wasn’t the only Bush family owner and Jeter is not the only New York baseball connection. Jeb and Dubya’s great-uncle George Herbert Walker, Jr. was the minority owner of the Mets and helped found the team with Joan Payson in 1960.
Known as Bert and “Uncle Herbie,” as President George H. W. Bush called him, was an executive vice president with the Mets from 1962 until his death in 1977 and both Jeb and Dubya watched games at Shea Stadium as young men in the 1960s.
Yes, owning a baseball team is the Bush’s other family business.
So, when the announcement came today the Jeter-Jeb Bush group won the right to buy the Marlins for $1.3 billion, although many in the media focused on Jeter, you have to believe this is definitely Jeb Bush’s show. He is the former governor of Florida with two former United States Presidents in the family. Jeb is the one with the political clout to get certain things done.
You would have to think the fraternity of baseball owners will love to have someone with Jeb’s political clout. He can help if there are any issues that come up in congress and in negotiating certain deals that may need political support.
Although, Jeter is definitely a star name and having a future Hall of Famer in the ownership group is definitely an asset, his role will not be as large as Jeb’s. It will be interesting to see if these two large egos can coexist. Jeter will have an active role in the baseball operation, but remember, Jeb was a president candidate a little over a year ago an will be the general partner.
No matter how this works out, you would have to think the Marlins will be in better shape with Jeter and Jeb in charge and Jeffrey Loria cashing out. Although Loria did bring the Miami a World Series in 2003, he broke the team apart several times, which lost the trust of the Marlins fans and to this day, the publicly funded Marlins Park has trouble drawing fans.
Of course, this deal isn’t done and now Jeter and Jeb will need to get the rest of the funding together before the purchase goes to the owners, where 75% will have to approve for this deal to go through.
If it does – and it should – the Marlins will become a much more interesting franchise with Jeb Bush and Derek Jeter in the owners’ chairs.