Will “Nashville Stars” Become Baseball First Black-Owned Team?

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[Major League Baseball\Nashville Stars]
USA TODAY: "They also hope to become the first team in baseball history to have African-American majority ownership, and only the second in all of major sports, joining the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, owned by Michael Jordan."
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Former Oakland Athletics pitcher Dave Stewart is pushing for Major League Baseball to allow the first African-American majority-owned team into the league: the Nashville Stars.

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has more power than anyone in baseball, but he can’t unilaterally implement change.

He can’t force the white owners to hire Black general managers and executives.

He can’t command GMs to hire Black managers.

He can’t make teams sign or draft Black players.

“So all we’re going to ask him to do,’’ said Dave Stewart, the three-time World Series champion and one of only five Black GMs in baseball history, “is to give the city of Nashville a baseball team. That’s all we’re asking you to do. We’re not asking you to do anything more than that.

“We’ll do the rest.’’

Stewart is on the board of directors and advisory committee of the Music City Baseball group trying to acquire a team, either through expansion or relocation, in Nashville, Tenn.

They will be called the Nashville Stars, the first MLB club to be named after a Negro League team, honoring the teams that played in Nashville before baseball's integration.

They also hope to become the first team in baseball history to have African-American majority ownership, and only the second in all of major sports, joining the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, owned by Michael Jordan.

“This is what baseball should do,’’ Stewart told USA TODAY Sports. “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.

“Think about it, we’ve never had Black ownership in baseball. There’s Magic [Johnson] and [Derek] Jeter, but that’s not real Black ownership because their stakes are so small.

“This is real. And now is the time.’’

For the rest of this USA TODAY story log on to: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/columnist/bob-nightengale/2020...

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