Passing of the Baton: Saints Fun Will Continue As Goldklang Group Announces Sale of St. Paul Saints To Diamond Baseball Holdings
ST. PAUL, MN (March 15, 2023) - In 1992, Marv Goldklang, Mike Veeck, and Bill Murray had the wild idea of bringing a baseball team into the Twin Cities, a market that already had a Major League team in the Minnesota Twins. The epitaph of that team was already written
_ST. PAUL, MN _*(March 15, 2023) - *
In 1992, Marv Goldklang, Mike Veeck, and Bill Murray had the wild idea of bringing a baseball team into the Twin Cities, a market that already had a Major League team in the Minnesota Twins. The epitaph of that team was already written before they played their first game in June, 1993. Yet, more than 30 years later, the St. Paul Saints defied all expectations by becoming one of the most successful Minor League teams in the country with their unique brand of entertainment. That ownership, the Goldklang Group, has had a remarkable run and is now passing the baton with the sale of the Saints to Diamond Baseball Holdings (DBH).
Now entering its third season as the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, the Saints will continue forward under the management of the current front office, whose executive staff collectively carries nearly 100 years of experience with the organization. Executive Vice President/General Manager Derek Sharrer, who has been at the helm for two decades, will continue to lead the staff in season number 31 of the franchise’s history.
The front office staff’s extensive experience, along with DBH’s deep baseball knowledge, assures the Saints’ stability in the Twin Cities market for years to come. DBH currently owns 13 Minor League affiliates across the country. Those teams each maintain their individual character and connection to the community through fan engagement and local partnerships, while also tapping into additional growth opportunities derived from DBH’s national scale and reach. DBH works directly with MLB on value creation initiatives like sponsorship and merchandising, and also pursues investment in technological innovation to further advance the fan, player and community experience.
CEO of DBH, Peter Freund, has known Goldklang and Veeck for more than 15 years. Goldklang helped introduce Freund to the world of Minor League Baseball and he has been a co-owner of the Charleston RiverDogs, a Goldklang Group owned team.
“When Mike, Bill, Van Schley, and I arrived in St. Paul more than 30 years ago, we came with a vision both to bring back a legendary baseball franchise with a history spanning more than 100 years, and to re-imagine the connection between the game of baseball and a community,” said Saints Chairman/CEO, Marv Goldklang. “While I believe we have remained true to that vision during our stewardship of the Saints, there are opportunities yet to be realized. The decision to sell was a difficult and emotional one for me and it would not have been made were it not to an organization headed by people who ‘get it’ and are committed both to further expansion of the team's brand and additional ways in which our ballpark can be utilized for the benefit of the community. Our own organization knows how deeply I will miss my active involvement with the Saints, but I am confident that in the future we'll be able to look back with additional pride at what the Saints have become.”
“The Saints are an iconic franchise, unquestionably one of the jewels of Minor League baseball, and the club’s incredible legacy cannot be understated in St. Paul,” said Peter Freund, CEO of DBH. “DBH’s primary objective is to continue building on what my friends and partners of over a decade, Marv, Mike, Bill and Jeff, have already created, and to continue supporting the incredible Saints staff, players, fans and entire St. Paul community.”
The Saints played at Midway Stadium from 1993-2014 before moving to CHS Field in 2015. They became the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins in 2021, one of only three Independent Professional Baseball teams to make that jump. Since moving to CHS Field, the Saints have led all of Baseball in percentage of attendance to capacity, averaging more than 107%.
“These last three decades have been one of the most magical and rewarding rides of my baseball life,” said Saints co-owner Mike Veeck. “From day one, the fans opened up their arms to this organization and made us strive for new heights each season. I’m so grateful to the St. Paul community because they proved that if you listen to them, then they will come out and support you. We’ve made so many friends in the area and leave the Saints in incredible hands. I’ve always said, ’You hire the best people and get out of their way.’ For my wife Libby and I, it’s now our time to step away.”
“The Pohlad family and Minnesota Twins organization would like to thank Marv Goldklang, Mike Veeck and Bill Murray for their incredible vision and leadership in building the Saint Paul Saints franchise and brand,” Twins President & CEO Dave St. Peter said. “The Twins-Saints player development partnership is a special part of their legacy and something that is certain to benefit Upper Midwest baseball fans for years to come. Going forward, the Twins look forward to working with Peter Freund and Diamond Baseball Holdings. DBH enjoys a splendid reputation across Minor League Baseball and the Twins are excited to be their partner here in the Twin Cities.”
Subject to obtaining the consent of the league and satisfying standard closing conditions, the transaction is expected to be completed promptly.
About the Saints
The St. Paul Saints became an original member of Independent Professional Baseball in the Northern League in 1993. They have drawn almost 8.5 million fans since 1993, including nearly 3,000,000 at CHS Field since 2015. They rank number one across all of Minor League Baseball in percent capacity since 2015. Their distinctive brand of entertainment has helped gain them national attention across media platforms. As an Independent Professional Baseball team, players such as Darryl Strawberry, J.D. Drew. Kevin Millar, Leon “Bull” Durham, Ila Borders, and Rey Ordoñez have worn the Saints uniform.
About Diamond Baseball Holdings
Diamond Baseball Holdings (DBH) was formed in 2021 to support, promote and enhance Minor League Baseball Clubs affiliated with Major League Baseball through professional management, best practices, innovation and investment. DiamondBaseballHoldings.com.