By now, you know that Earvin “Magic” Johnson is one of the new owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers. But there’s also a Chicago connection in the deal.
Johnson, the Lansing, Mich., native, Michigan State and NBA star, led a group of investors who paid $2 billion for the Dodgers, a record for a baseball franchise.
Speaking with ESPN2’s Baseball Tonight on Wednesday, Johnson said he’ll be actively involved in running the club, and has loved baseball since growing up as a fan of the Detroit Tigers.
He admitted the price was high, but said marquee clubs do not come on the market often, so he thought the team was work it.
One of the people who’ll be making sure the deal pays off is Mark R. Walter, the chief executive of Guggenheim Partners, which has its headquarters in Chicago and New York. According to ABC News, he’ll be considered the team’s controlling owner, meaning he’ll represent the team in Major League Baseball activities.
Guggenheim is a private equity firm that manages more than $125 billion in assets. It has more than 7,000 employees worldwide, with 125 offices in 10 countries. The company is an active philanthropist in Chicago, supporting organizations like the Art Institute and the Lincoln Park Zoo.
Of course, Johnson will get the lion’s share of attention. We couldn’t find any of his commercials for the Quality Dairy, but here he is explaining how he got his nickname.