Visalia, CA Top of the Third, the Seidler-O'Malley family ownership group of the Visalia Rawhide since 2002, announced today that the ballclub is for sale. Team President Tom Seidler issued the following statement:
"We have thoroughly enjoyed these 17 years as stewards of the Visalia ballclub. Coming off a successful 2018 season and Northern Division Championship, our General Manager Jennifer Reynolds and the front office are gearing up for an exciting 2019 season. At the same time, we have decided that it is the right time to hand the ball over to new ownership. We are beginning the process to find new ownership for the ballclub to continue the great 7-decade tradition of professional baseball in Visalia."
Top of the Third has retained sports investment bank Park Lane to advise on the transaction.
Rawhide highlights from Top of the Third's 17-year ownership of the ballclub:
- Longest-running ownership (17 years) in the 73-year history of professional baseball in Visalia
- 2 nd -longest MLB affiliation in club history (entering 13th year with Arizona Diamondbacks)
On-Field Baseball Success
- 122 players from Visalia to MLB, the most of any Class A franchise in that time
- Includes Evan Longoria, Justin Upton, Trevor Bauer, Adam Eaton, Paul Goldschmidt, and Max Scherzer
- 4-time California League Northern Division Champion (2006, 2014, 2016, 2018)
Ballpark Improvements spurred record attendance
- Worked with the City of Visalia on ballpark renovations to meet MLB standards and upgrade fan facilities
- Invested over $1,000,000 in ballclub funds to City-owned facility
- Broke 62-year old attendance record in 2009, and again in 8 of the last 10 seasons
- PlayBall: providing baseball equipment and instruction to underserved kids
- Rawhide Readers: promoting literacy to area youth, with incentives ranging from free books to game tickets
- Host Family Program: among the best in the country, 100% of players and coaches live with Host Families
Ownership of the Visalia Ballclub over the years
1946-1949 Chicago Cubs
1950-1962 local ownership
1968-1975 New York Mets
1977-1982 City of Visalia
1983-1988 Stan Simpson and Don Higgins
1989-1997 Don Drysdale and Japan Sports Systems
1998-1999 Jim Wadley
2000-2001 7th Inning Stretch
2002-current Top of the Third
About the Visalia Rawhide The Visalia Rawhide are a professional baseball team in the Class A Advanced California League and are the only professional sports team in Tulare and Kings counties. On April 4th, 2019, the Rawhide will open their 73 nd year of play and 13th as an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Rawhide will defend their 2018 Northern Division Championship and continue providing competitive baseball and affordable family entertainment. To be a part of the 2019 Visalia Rawhide season, please contact the Visalia Rawhide Ticket Office at 559.732.4433, visit us online at rawhidebaseball.com, or follow us on Facebook (TheRawhide), Instagram (@VisaliaRawhide), and Twitter (@VisaliaRawhide).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.