Amidst all the great play on the field from the Cleveland Guardians of late, a significant off-field development occurred this week.
The Guardians got a new (minority) owner.
On Thursday, June 16, the MLB approved a sale of a minority interest in the Cleveland Guardians.
The purchaser, David Blitzer, secured around 25-35% of the club, with the number expected to rise over time with a path to majority ownership.
The Guardians have been looking for a new minority owner for three years now.
Former minority owner John Sherman left in 2019 to purchase the Kansas City Royals.
The introduction of new ownership can be scary at times for fans.
Sometimes, new owners come in, get in the city’s good graces, only to move the team to a different city, like with the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics.
But Guardians fans should rest assured that Blitzer’s new stake doesn’t endanger the team.
The Guardians aren’t going anywhere any time soon.
What do we know about the newest member of the Cleveland Guardians family?
Fortunately, a whole lot.
Here are three things to know about David Blitzer:
1. Team Player
First-time owners can be scary.
They come in with a lack of experience and either want too much control over team affairs or don’t exercise enough oversight.
David Blitzer’s purchase of a minority stake in the Guardians now, w/option to become majority owner in 6 years, was approved at MLB owners meetings. Blitzer is buying just over 25% of the team now but can buy controlling interest in 6 years (or sooner if Paul Dolan OKs it)
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 16, 2022
David Blitzer is not a first-time owner.
In fact, he’s not a second-time, third-time, fourth-time, or fifth-time.
Blitzer owns teams in every other professional sports league in America.
In the NBA, Blitzer co-owns the Philadelphia Seventy-Sixers.
On the NFL front, Blitzer co-owns the Steelers.
Blitzer also owns shares in hockey’s New Jersey Devils and MLS’ Real Salt Lake.
While it might make some Guardians/Browns fans uncomfortable to see the Steelers’ name alongside anything Cleveland, at least Blitzer brings a level of experience in ownership.
Blitzer even owns teams overseas, including the English Premier League’s Crystal Palace F.C. and German Bundesliga side F.C. Augsburg.
Perhaps it comes as no surprise, given Blitzer’s portfolio of teams, but he’s a fairly wealthy guy.
Blitzer’s net worth is estimated to be north of $1 billion, with much of that in equities.
That puts Blitzer in roughly the same ballpark (no pun intended) as Pittsburgh Pirates owner Bob Nutting, Seattle Mariners owner John Stanton, and Astros owner Jim Crane.
All in all, Blitzer is about the middle of the pack in terms of baseball owners’ net worth.
He’s not at the top with recent New York Mets buyer Steve Cohen (estimated net worth over $15 billion — far and beyond the highest in baseball).
But he’s not at the low-end of the totem pole either, with Milwaukee Brewers, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Tampa Bay Rays ownership all below the $1 billion club.
3. Coast to (Lake Erie) Coast
Most of Blitzer’s American sports holdings are located in one area: the East Coast.
— Kurt Badenhausen (@kbadenhausen) June 16, 2022
Drilling even more specifically, Blitzer’s teams are clustered in or around Pennsylvania.
This goes back to Blitzer’s time in college.
Blitzer attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated magna cum laude.