Nelson Doubleday

From BR Bullpen

Nelson Doubleday, Jr.

Biographical Information[edit]

Nelson Doubleday was the president of Doubleday Publishing, founded by his grandfather, and helped the company buy the New York Mets in 1980, from the family of original owner Joan Payson. He put up 80% of the $21.1 million purchase price, a record for a baseball team at the time. The Mets were a last-place club at the time, while the rival New York Yankees were in the middle of a glorious run, but by the mid-1980s, the two teams' fortunes had been reversed. The Mets won the 1986 World Series, in the year he and Fred Wilpon, who was a minority shareholder, bought the team from the company before Doubleday sold the family business, which had hit difficult times with profits dwindling to almost nothing, to the German publishing giant Bertelsmann. While he never sought the limelight as an owner, in stark contrast with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, he was one of the owners who sought the ouster of Commissioner Bowie Kuhn in 1984, because he was opposed to his ideas on revenue sharing. Wilpon and Doubleday co-owned the team until 2002, when Doubleday sold his stake in the club to Wilpon.

He grew up on Long Island a fervent fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers and was a distant descendant of Abner Doubleday. He served in the Unitesd States Air Force in the 1950s. He died of pneumonia in 2015, aged 81.

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