Former MLB All-Star Dave Stewart has been around the game a long time — since he finished his 15-year playing career, he's worked as an executive, a pitching coach, and an agent. Now, he's setting his sights on ownership, but there's a lot more to it than that.
Stewart sits on the board of directors and advisory committee of the Music City Baseball group, which is trying to bring a baseball franchise, either through expansion or relocation, to Nashville, Tennessee. If the group succeeds, USA Today reports, the franchise would be the first in baseball history with majority-Black ownership, and only the second in all major American sports after the Charlotte Hornets, who are owned by Michael Jordan.
"This is what baseball should do," Stewart said. "They should open the doors to Black ownership, diverse ownership. This is the time for baseball to do something they've never done. For what this country is going through, and what baseball is going through, there will be a residual effect. This is history."
The plan is for the team to be named the Nashville Stars, which would make it the first club to take its moniker from a Negro League team, honoring a squad that played in Nashville in 1942 before baseball's integration. Additionally, the group envisions a 42,000 seat-stadium in honor of Jackie Robinson.
The effort was first reported last year, but it received a boost this week when it was revealed Stewart, Dave Dombrowski, a baseball lifer who most recently served as the general manager for the Boston Red Sox, and Tony La Russa, one of the game's greatest managers, were on board. The group is expected to make an official expansion proposal to MLB at the 2021 Winter Meetings in Nashville. Read more at USA Today.