NEW YORK -- Mark Lerner was named the managing principal owner of the Nationals on Thursday morning, taking over for his father, Ted, who stepped down from the role after nearly 12 years. The move was formally ratified at Major League Baseball's quarterly ownership meetings in New York and approved
NEW YORK -- Mark Lerner was named the managing principal owner of the Nationals on Thursday morning, taking over for his father, Ted, who stepped down from the role after nearly 12 years. The move was formally ratified at Major League Baseball's quarterly ownership meetings in New York and approved by a unanimous vote.
The Lerner family has owned the Nationals since July 2006 and Ted Lerner, 92, has served as the team's "control person" during that time. Mark Lerner has served as one of the principal owners since then and has taken a more active role recently.
"Owning a baseball team in my hometown had long been a dream of mine," Ted Lerner said in a statement. "Twelve years ago, when Major League Baseball selected my family as the owners of the Washington Nationals, I could not have been happier. I always knew that someday my son, Mark, would take over my role as managing principal owner. That day has come. I look forward to watching him take the helm and help lead this team to a world championship."
Mark, 64, has worked with his father in the real estate business at Lerner Enterprises for more than 40 years and has been heavily involved in the decision-making process since the family bought the team. He spends a lot of time around the team during Spring Training and is sometimes on the field during batting practice at Nationals Park with a seat during games right near the Nationals' dugout.
Now, he takes over as the team's principal owner.
"Baseball has long been my passion," Mark Lerner said in a statement. "Since being awarded the team in 2006, my family has taken great pride in our fans and this team. We have always strived for excellence both on and off the field. That will not change. Our family will continue to put our fans first and do everything possible to bring a World Series trophy to D.C.
"It is incredibly special for my mother and father to be able to see me take the helm. And it means so much to me that they chose to make this change now."
Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.