New owner on horizon for Y-S Gold Sox
Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox managing partner Peter Bavasi said he expects a new owner to be in place before the 2007 season begins.
“If we're going to do it (sell the team) we need to do it soon, because otherwise we get into the beginning of the selling season and the season,” Bavasi said Friday.
He did not indicate who the buyer was, but said he and his brother and co-owner Bob Bavasi are committed to finding the right fit for the team and community.
Peter Bavasi denied, however, winter rumors that the price of tickets and concessions were going to increase.
“There was some issue about some people thinking, well, you're going to raise prices,” Bavasi said. “No, we're not raising any prices. They're all the same, all the same since the get-go, 5, 7, 10 (dollars) and no change in the concessions prices, unless suppliers hit us over the head, but I don't think they will.”
And though Bavasi wasn't certain manager Brad Peek would return for a fifth season, he said the club fully expects the skipper to be in the dugout on opening night, along with assistants Jack Johnson and Chris Terry.
“Brad likes to decompress for a while and we don't even ask him any longer if he's coming back. He has a standing and open invitation to come back,” Bavasi said. “I think he's just terrific and does everything right. ... We know Brad must be coming back, although we haven't asked him, because he's building a schedule and he has players coming.”
The Gold Sox are coming off their best season since becoming a summer collegiate team in 2002. They won the Horizon Air Summer Series McCullough Division championship and set a team-record with 41 wins.
Peter and Bob put the team for sale in July, posting ads in the Wall Street Journal and Baseball America with an asking price of $1.7 million. The deal includes the team and the Horizon Air Summer Series collegiate wood-bat league in which it plays. It does not include All Seasons RV Stadium, which the city of Marysville owns.
The Bavasis said from the beginning they were going to be picky about a successor, and Peter Bavasi stuck to that philosophy last week.
“We're going to be very picky, choosy about whose going to succeed us to own the club,” he said. “One of the things that we like to test people on is how they feel about continuity and stability, how they feel about community baseball and what's important to them, purpose or profit, and we think we're starting to get real close to that person.”
The Bavasis original asking price has dropped considerably and now stands at $788,000, according to a Web site that outlines the sale offer. Peter Bavasi said the original price was set to attract serious buyers.
“That was in order to keep the sightseers away from the earnest buyers,” Bavasi said. “This way, from the get-go, it was a substantial amount of money so you were only going to have substantial people come forward.”
Bavasi said they have had inquires from all over the country from people inside of baseball who presently own clubs, to wealthy corporate types that asked about lengths of area runways for private jets.
He said whoever does take over ownership will have to exhibit the same qualities that have existed within the organization since the late-Don McCullough teamed with Bob Bavasi to buy the team in 2002.
“Our interest has never been profit, it's been the right people, the right person,” Peter Bavasi said. “Someone who will be able to take the relationships we already have and continue them in a way the community will appreciate. We're looking for someone with energy, enthusiasm, enough time and somebody who doesn't have to be totally introduced to the area. Someone who's familiar with it, who's near by or has been here or has a business interest in the area.”
Bavasi said the Gold Sox will continue its arts and entertainment program to promote local artisans and musicians. The organization also plans on adding a program geared toward young writers in cooperation with Amicus Books in Marysville.
He said the club also plans to have a “Misting Patrol” roaming the stadium to cool fans from the oftentimes sweltering heat. Ten employees will be equipped with individual 24-ounce misting units to keep the heat away.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Justin Miller can be reached at 749-4796. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org