Two siblings of the Texas Rangers family have recently developed a stronger bond.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans Chairman and Managing Partner Chuck Greenberg, along with current Frisco President Scott Sonju, agreed last week to purchase the Rangers’ Double-A affiliate, the Frisco RoughRiders, from Mandalay Baseball Properties LLC.
It will become the third franchise Greenberg owns along with the Advanced Class-A Pelicans and the State College Spikes of the New York-Penn League.
“The relationship the Rangers and Pelicans have has been exemplary from the very beginning so it’s not really a distraction,” Greenberg said. “It’s kind of a reflection of how happy we’ve been with our relationship. By having three franchises now, it gives us the opportunity to ensure that we’re always on the cutting edge of keeping the ballpark experience fresh.”
While the purchase is unlikely to affect play on the field, Myrtle Beach General Manager Andy Milovich believes it presents a unique opportunity for the Pelicans franchise to collaborate with the RoughRiders franchise.
“I’m excited. I think it’s a fantastic move for the organization,” said Milovich, in his second year with the Pelicans. “When I looked at Myrtle Beach as [a job] opportunity, one thing I noticed is that Chuck is such an aggressive owner. For us, it adds one more team to his group and it’s another team to share ideas with, share practices and help cultivate employees so it should benefit us.”
The Pelicans are under contract with the Rangers through 2014. However, the purchase of Frisco could potentially play a factor in an extension of the partnership, Milovich said.
Greenberg‘s ties to the Rangers organization has been significant in recent years. Aside from his post with Myrtle Beach, Greenberg served as CEO of the parent club for seven months from 2010-11.
“It certainly wouldn’t hurt,” Milovich said of the added interest in Rangers affiliates via the purchase. “I think Chuck has been a Rangers fan since his involvement with the major league club and I’m glad he gets to continue and do more things with Texas. Like I said, I believe both sides will benefit from this.”
Mandalay originally planned to sell Frisco as part of a five-team package. After being unhappy with the bids it received, the organization opened up to selling the teams separately, which intrigued Greenberg.
“That’s when I contacted them about purchasing the franchise,” Greenberg said. “It’s a great franchise and it’s very compatible with the way we do things. It’s also only 25 minutes from where I live, so that was great and since it was another Rangers affiliate was a plus. I was just glad Mandalay has given me this opportunity.”
Greenberg said doing business with the Rangers has been pleasant.
“They’re great people and very easy to work with. The communication is outstanding and they consistently supply their affiliates with good young talent and upstanding citizens, so it’s everything you hope for,” Greenberg said. “The teams are competitive and we couldn’t ask for more from a major league affiliate. The Rangers have been an exemplary affiliate and I think it will be very positive for both Myrtle Beach and Frisco considering Frisco is the next stop after Myrtle Beach.”
Said Milovich: “I think it’s nice from a continuity standpoint and from a player development standpoint. With players coming from [Low-A] Hickory to Myrtle Beach and then going on to Frisco, certainly there’s some fun we can have with that. But knowing the roving instructors and coordinators coming through both places, it can be an asset for the Texas Rangers as well.”
Texas Rangers President of Baseball Operations Jon Daniels was pleased to hear Greenberg was expanding his assets within the Rangers organization.
“The Rangers have enjoyed a productive and successful partnership with the Frisco RoughRiders for the last 12 years,” Daniels said. “We look forward to continuing that strong relationship with Chuck and Scott and their new ownership group. Our affiliation with Chuck's group in Myrtle Beach has been outstanding and we congratulate them on the Frisco purchase.”
Contact MAX McKINNON at 626-0302.