Cal Ripken Jr. In Early Discussions To Sell Majority Interest In Single-A Aberdeen IronBirds
Baseball HOFer Cal Ripken Jr. is in "early talks to sell a majority stake" in the Single-A New York-Penn League Aberdeen IronBirds, the franchise he has owned in his hometown since '02, according to Ryan Sharrow of the BALTIMORE BUSINESS JOURNAL. Ripken Baseball spokesperson John Maroon said that the move is a "continuation of a plan" by Ripken Baseball to "divest its interest in minor-league teams and focus on growing its youth baseball business." Ripken at one time "owned three minor-league clubs," but since '13 has sold the Single-A South Atlantic League Augusta GreenJackets and Single-A Florida State League Charlotte Stone Crabs. Maroon said Cal and Bill Ripken want to retain a minority interest in the team and are "looking for a strategic partner." Maroon: "This is not a public sale." He added that Ripken "started talks with potential buyers just a few weeks back." Maroon said that the decision to sell the ballclub is "not tied to Cal's divorce in April from his wife, Kelly, after 29 years of marriage." The IronBirds are a Single-A affiliate of the Orioles (BIZJOURNALS.com, 9/23). Maroon said that Ripken "remains committed to his Harford County hometown and will continue to operate his stadium complex and to focus on his core mission of youth baseball." In Baltimore, Anderson & Vought noted selling a share of the IronBirds would "not affect ownership of The Ripken Experience -- Powered by Under Armour youth baseball complex, one of three such complexes owned by Ripken Baseball." Maroon said that the Ripkens will "continue to own and operate the Aberdeen complex as well as those in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Pigeon Forge, Tenn." (Baltimore SUN, 9/24).