Sale of Red Sox becomes official

Feb. 27, 2002 at 9:35 PM
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BOSTON, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- In a record $660 million sale that included Fenway Park and the New England Sports Network, ownership of the Boston Red Sox was officially transferred Wednesday to a group headed by John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino.

The Red Sox had been owned by Tom and Jean Yawkey since 1933. It was part of the Jean R. Yawkey Trust and partners since 1992 until outgoing CEO John Harrington finalized the deal Wednesday.

"Tom and Jean's love of and commitment to baseball, the Red Sox, and the fans transformed the relationship between this team and this community," said Harrington, who will remain executive director of the Yawkey Foundation.

"I am proud to have been part of the Yawkey baseball era, and I think Tom and Jean would be pleased to see their team passing on to a group with outstanding baseball experience, a passion for the game and a commitment to our community."

In Henry and Werner, the Red Sox get a pair of experienced baseball people. Henry endured nearly everything during his triumphant and tumultuous tenure with the Florida Marlins while Werner should offer perspective following his days as an owner in San Diego

Lucchino is an experienced baseball man who has run teams in Baltimore and San Diego.

"Having been an avid baseball fan all of my life, I am keenly aware of what a privilege it is to be called an owner of the Boston Red Sox," Henry said.

One of those privileges is the right to change personnel and it has been widely speculated that Duquette, the embattled general manager, will be relieved of his duties by new ownership.

Duquette publicly disagreed with former manager Jimy Williams and sided with hot-tempered outfielder Carl Everett when he was reprimanded by Williams for a team infraction. Williams has been fired and Everett has been traded.

In December, all partners of the Yawkey Trust voted to sell 100 percent of the team to a group of investors led by Henry, who surrendered his ownership of the Marlins.

One of baseball's most stories franchises, the Red Sox had been in the Yawkey family since the Great Depression. The new ownership group is a mix and match of personalities, including Hollywood producer Werner, former politician George Mitchell, skiing magnate Les Otten and the New York Times.

The team's rich history includes Cy Young and Ted Williams but also includes no World Series titles since 1918 and the sale of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees two years later.

Boston has appeared in four World Series since 1918, losing each in a decisive seventh game.

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