Perhaps being a baseball fan in Cincinnati can color your world view. The Cincinnati Reds LLC owns and operates the Cincinnati Reds professional ball club, a storied franchise in Major League Baseball. Founded in 1866 as the Cincinnati Base Ball Club, the team gained the nickname the Red Stockings in 1868 and became the first all-professional baseball franchise the next year. The Reds earned four National League pennants during the 1970s and won back-to-back World Series championships in 1975 and 1976 with players such as Pete Rose and Johnny Bench. CEO Robert Castellini heads a group that owns 70% of the team. Former CEO Carl Lindner owns the rest.
While the Reds continue to boast a loyal following at home, the team has struggled to produce on the field. Walt Jocketty, previously general manager for the St. Louis Cardinals, was brought in to replace Wayne Krivsky during the 2008 season.
Castellini led a group of local businessmen to acquire control of the Reds in 2006; the deal valued the team at $270 million. A local produce distributor, Castellini had been part of a group that owned the team during its Big Red Machine heyday in the 1970s.
The Reds were formerly owned by the late Marge Schott, the hard-edged widow of a local industrialist who bought control of the team in 1984. While she oversaw a resurgence of the franchise (Cincinnati won its fifth World Series title in 1990), Schott also drew a firestorm of criticism for making ethnic and racial slurs. Twice suspended by MLB, she was forced to sell her stake in the team for about $67 million. – less