Andy Kaufmann acquired Majority Ownership of the Miracle on January 8th, 2019. As a child, Andy learned a great deal about business from his first real life hero, his father. One of his duties included assembling First Aid Kits for his father's business, which in return his father paid him in baseball cards. in 1999, Andy graduated from Emerson College with a degree in Marketing on a mission to build brands. After selling his most recent company, UST Brands, Andy determined that his next business would be a long term family business where he can teach what he knows to his two sons as they grow. He decided to combine 2 of his lifelong passions, business and baseball and is excited to be part of the Fort Myers Miracle Family and Southwest Florida Community, as well as to partner with the Minnesota Twins. Andy, his wife Farah and their sons Sawyer and Zachary look forward to living in the Fort Myers area for the majority of the Miracle Season.
PRESS RELEASE ANNOUNCEMENT:
8 January 2019
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Fort Myers Miracle Baseball Club announced today that Andrew Kaufmann (Kaufy Baseball, LLC) closed the acquisition of the controlling ownership interest in the team and will be the new managing owner, effective immediately.
Kaufmann takes over for Jason Hochberg (SJS Beacon Baseball, LLC), who will continue as a minority partner in the Club. Chris Peters will also remain as President and General Manager. Under Hochberg's leadership, the Miracle won two championships in five years, most recently in 2018.
"As a lifelong baseball enthusiast, I am fired up for the opportunity to not only continue the tradition of excellence that this Club has enjoyed since its inaugural season in 1926, but also to invest in new ways to enhance the fan experience for years to come," Kaufmann said. "We plan to continue to make Hammond Stadium the number one destination for affordable family fun in Southwest Florida!"
The Miracle will continue as the Class-A Advanced Affiliate of the Minnesota Twins and to assist the Twins with Spring Training operations. Kaufmann expressed his thanks for their support and longstanding partnership since 1992. Hochberg is also optimistic about the future and happy to remain on board.
"It has been a true honor to own the Miracle since 2014," Hochberg said. "The fans will love Andrew and he will be a frequent presence at beautiful Hammond Stadium. Lee County and the Twins have been, and will continue to be, tremendous partners of the Miracle. I am excited to see the club reach new heights under Andrew's strong leadership and grateful to remain a part of the team."
The Miracle will celebrate their 2018 FSL Championship in 2019 with the best promotional schedule in their history. The number one focus will be on fun and the fan experience.
"I could not be more excited about the future of the Miracle organization," Peters said. "We have a solid foundation in place and Southwest Florida continues to be one of the fastest growing areas in the nation. Our potential is unlimited!"
Kaufmann, who is originally from New York, currently makes his home in Jacksonville, FL. He and his family plan to live in Bonita Springs for most of the baseball season.
"The Twins and Miracle have been partners in Lee County for over 25 years and we welcome Andrew Kaufmann to that partnership," Twins Director of Minor League Operations Jeremy Zoll said. "We are excited by Andrew's ideas for Twins and Miracle fans in Southwest Florida. Baseball games are back in Fort Myers starting February 23 with our first spring training game and we are ready to work with Andy and the Miracle staff all throughout the baseball season."
Miracle Opening Night is Thursday, April 4 against Charlotte at Hammond Stadium.