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Harrisburg Senators Transition Ownership to Diamond Baseball Holdings

April 10, 2024

HARRISBURG, PA [April 10, 2024] – Senators Partners, the owner of the Harrisburg Senators, announced today it has entered into an agreement to sell the team to Diamond Baseball Holdings (DBH), an organization that owns and operates select minor league clubs affiliated with Major League Baseball (MLB). The team will

HARRISBURG, PA [April 10, 2024] – Senators Partners, the owner of the Harrisburg Senators, announced today it has entered into an agreement to sell the team to Diamond Baseball Holdings (DBH), an organization that owns and operates select minor league clubs affiliated with Major League Baseball (MLB). The team will continue to focus on using baseball as a platform to connect with the local community, a trademark of late principal owner Mark Butler, under the existing leadership of Team President, Kevin Kulp, and all current front office staff. The Double-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals will continue playing games at the picturesque FNB Field on City Island.

Mark, the CEO of Ollies Bargain Outlet and a local business and community icon, purchased a majority ownership stake of the Senators in 2014. Mark believed that local ownership and community involvement in the Senators were important to the team’s success. During his ownership, Mark relied heavily on Kevin to promote and operate the team and Mark had great respect for Kevin. Mark passed away unexpectedly on December 1, 2019. Following Mark’s passing, the Butler family, with the invaluable assistance of Kevin, continued to operate the Senators, including during the difficult operating conditions experienced as a result of the pandemic.

“Mark left an indelible legacy at the Senators through the community-first culture he created and his work with local youth sports and charitable endeavors,” said Kulp. “We are so grateful to have benefitted from his leadership; and thank the Butler family for their unwavering support after Mark’s untimely death. While the sale is bittersweet for the Butler family, marking the end of Mark’s tenure with the Harrisburg Senators, the Butler family is thrilled to pass the torch to DBH. DBH will provide long-term stability for the franchise and help write the next chapter of Senators history while building incredible experiences offered at FNB Field.”

Harrisburg’s professional baseball history dates back to the early 19th century, playing host to both Minor and Negro League games through the 1950s. FNB Field was later built on the exact same site as those very first games, and being situated on City Island, is one of the most unique Minor League ballparks in the country. City Island is surrounded by the Susquehanna River and features 63 acres of land with FNB Field as its centerpiece.

“I want to thank the Butler family, along with Kevin Kulp and his team, for their amazing partnership and dedication to the Harrisburg Senators, and ensuring that Mark Butler’s vision lives on,” said City of Harrisburg Mayor, Wanda R.D. Williams. “Welcoming DBH to Harrisburg ensures that Minor League Baseball will continue to prosper at FNB Field with the dedication, investment and expertise they bring to our community.”

Senators fans have enjoyed watching top Nationals prospects stop through the state capital on their way to the nation’s capital, including Trea Turner, Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and Juan Soto, among others. In 2016, the Senators debuted The One & Only World-Famous, Life Size Bobblehead Hall of Fame, which recognizes and enshrines former players with unique, life-size bobbleheads, permanently displayed at FNB Field.

“I’d like to thank Senators Partners and the Butler family for their partnership and dedication to Washington Nationals player development over the past several years,” said Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager, Mike Rizzo. “We look forward to continued growth and success as we enter this new relationship with Diamond Baseball Holdings.”

“Mark used his signature combination of passion and community service to connect with the Harrisburg community in a truly unique way,” said Pat Battle and Peter Freund, Executive Chairman and CEO of DBH, respectively. “Kevin and his team have done a fantastic job as stewards of the franchise, elevating the club to one of the best in the Eastern League. We intend to build upon Mark’s legacy by continuing to engage the community and provide the best fan experience at one of the most unique ballparks in the country. We are also encouraged that local ownership will continue as Dan and Michael Schwab, Co-Presidents of D&H Distributing, along with their sister, Amy Silfen, will retain a minority interest in the team.”

Subject to obtaining the consent of the league and satisfying other standard closing conditions, the transaction is expected to be completed promptly.

About Harrisburg Senators

The Harrisburg Senators play in the twelve-team double-A Eastern League. They are an affiliate of the Washington Nationals. The 2024 season is their 37th since returning to the Eastern League in 1987. During that time, the Senators have won the Eastern League Championship six times, including four consecutive championships 1996 to 1999. Since 1987, over 300 players have spent time playing for the Senators and played in the major leagues including Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman. In 2015 the Senators set their all-time single season attendance record drawing 301,588 fans.

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.

Media Contacts:

For Harrisburg Senators:

Terry Byrom

[email protected]

For Diamond Baseball Holdings:

Lauren Flemming

[email protected]