NEW YORK - Major League Baseball has approved the sale of the Texas Rangers from Tom Hicks to a group led by Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan.
The lengthy process finally came to a close Thursday after the Greenberg-Ryan group prevailed in an auction last week to purchase the club out of bankruptcy.
Ryan and Greenberg outbid the tandem of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Houston businessman Jim Crane. The winning bid was $593 million, topping the Cuban-Crane reported offer of $581.2 million.
"I am very pleased that Chuck, Nolan and their impressive ownership group have been approved as the new leadership of the Texas Rangers franchise," said MLB commissioner Bud Selig. "Chuck and Nolan have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the Rangers. Their passion for Major League Baseball as a whole and particularly the future of baseball in Texas is exemplary."
Greenberg, a Pittsburgh attorney, will serve as the new ownership's control person, while the legendary Ryan will remain as the club's president.
"I can't tell you how excited we are to complete our purchase of the Texas Rangers," commented Greenberg. "It's been a long journey, but well worth the wait. We believe that this franchise belongs to all of its fans, and we pledge to be passionate in all we do to bring you the very best on and off the field."
Ryan and Greenberg had reached an agreement on January 23 to purchase the team and the land around the Ballpark in Arlington for $575 million. The Rangers filed for bankruptcy in May, but the lenders who hold the debt on Hicks Sports Group ultimately objected to the sale with the belief that the team could fetch more money.
"In addition, I want to thank the Rangers' fans for their patience throughout this difficult process," Selig added. "I am confident that Chuck, Nolan and the entire ownership group will serve as dedicated stewards of this club by building a long-term, stable franchise which values its standing in the Dallas-Fort Worth communities. I am glad that the Rangers' great season on the field will get the attention it deserves during the pennant race."
The Rangers are 65-48 and lead the American League West by 7 1/2 games over the Angels.
"We can now turn our full attention to continuing what has been a great season on the field," said Ryan. "We thank the fans and the community for their tremendous loyalty and support and we look forward to the excitement as we head down the stretch and into October."