Redbirds Introduce Principal Owner Peter B. Freund
Peter B. Freund is now the Principal Owner of the Memphis Redbirds, the Triple-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, after an agreement to buy a majority interest in the team from the Cardinals officially closed.
The Cardinals will retain a minority stake in the Redbirds. The sale of the controlling interest in the Redbirds to Freund enhances the financial foundation of the Memphis Redbirds, while also strengthening the daily management of the club by bringing in a primary owner who has a successful track record in minor league baseball operations. Freund has nearly a decade of experience in minor league baseball ownership and operations. Freund is the principal owner of the Williamsport Crosscutters, a Class-A Affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies in the New York-Penn League, and he is also a co-owner of the Charleston RiverDogs of the South Atlantic League, a Class-A Affiliate of the New York Yankees.
"I cannot wait to get to work and am looking very forward to connecting with Redbirds fans and the entire Memphis community," Freund said.
The Redbirds and the Cardinals also announced an extension to the Player Development Contract, which now runs through the 2020 season. The Redbirds have been the Triple-A affiliate of the Cardinals since the 1998 season.
"Memphis is a great baseball city, and AutoZone Park is one of the premiere ballparks in the game," Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak said. "We are thrilled that our players will continue to compete in this beautiful stadium and in front of these fans."
The nearly two-decade long partnership between Memphis and St. Louis saw the opening of AutoZone Park in downtown Memphis in 2000, which is annually listed among professional baseball's best and has been called "one of American's 10 Best Ballpark Vacation Destinations." AutoZone Park will host the 2016 Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game on Sept. 20 and hosted the 2003 Triple-A All-Star Game.
Four Pacific Coast League championship teams have played in Memphis, most recently in 2014, and major league stars who have played in Memphis include Matt Carpenter, Yadier Molina, Albert Pujols, Michael Wacha and Adam Wainwright.
"This is an exciting new chapter for the Redbirds," Redbirds President and General Manager Craig Unger said. "I cannot wait to begin working with Peter and am thrilled that Memphis sports fans will continue to be able to cheer on the future stars of the St. Louis Cardinals for years to come."