Pub­lisher owned N.Y. Mets

NEL­SON DOU­BLE­DAY, 193 3-2015

Los Angeles Times - - OBITUARIES - As­so­ci­ated press

Nel­son Dou­ble­day Jr., the pub­lish­ing scion who bought the New York Mets and shep­herded the team to a 1986 World Se­ries ti­tle, has died. He was 81.

His son-in-law, John Havens, said Dou­ble­day died of pneu­mo­nia at his home in Lo­cust Val­ley, N.Y., on Wed­nes­day.

Dou­ble­day was born July 20, 1933, the grand­son of Frank Nel­son Dou­ble­day, who founded the pub­lish­ing com­pany in 1897, and a de­scen­dant of Ab­ner Dou­ble­day, the sup­posed in­ven­tor of base­ball.

Af­ter tak­ing over the com­pany from his fa­ther, Dou­ble­day part­nered with Fred Wilpon to be­come a ma­jor­ity owner of the last-place Mets in 1980.

Dou­ble­day hired Gen­eral Man­ager Frank Cashen, who was the ar­chi­tect of the team that beat the Bos­ton Red Sox in seven games.

The 1986 se­ries is most fa­mously known for Bill Buck­ner’s piv­otal er­ror at first base. He let Mookie Wil­son’s slow grounder go through his legs, and the Mets capped a twoout rally in the 10th in­ning of Game 6 with a 6-5 vic­tory at Shea Sta­dium. The Mets went on to win Game 7.

“His life is to be cel­e­brated. He was a won­der­ful man. He had a won­der­ful life,” for­mer Mets star Keith Her­nan­dez said of Dou­ble­day on the team’s SNY broad­cast Wed­nes­day night.

Dou­ble­day & Co. bought the Mets from the fam­ily of found­ing owner Joan Payson for $21.1 mil­lion, with the com­pany own­ing 95% of the team; Wilpon owned the rest.

When Dou­ble­day & Co. was sold in 1986, the pub­lisher sold its shares of the team for $80.75 mil­lion to Wilpon and Nel­son Dou­ble­day, who be­came 50/50 own­ers.

Wilpon bought out Dou­ble­day in 2002 in an ac­ri­mo­nious split. They had fought over the val­u­a­tion of the team.

Wilpon and his fam­ily bought Dou­ble­day’s 50% af­ter the team was ap­praised at $391 mil­lion. Last spring, Forbes es­ti­mated the Mets were worth $858 mil­lion, third in base­ball be­hind the New York Yan­kees ($1.6 bil­lion) and the Bos­ton Red Sox ($870 mil­lion).

The Mets re­leased a state­ment say­ing, “Nel­son had a love of base­ball and the Mets” and they were sad­dened to hear the news of his death.

“It’s a big loss for Keith and I,” said for­mer pitcher Ron Dar­ling, who is also a Mets broad­caster. “A guy that we looked up to.”

G. Paul Bur­nett As­so­ci­ated Press

MA­JOR­ITY OWNER Nel­son Dou­ble­day, left, with Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden in

1984, led the team to a World Se­ries ti­tle two years later.

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