ARLINGTON - Chuck Greenberg is ready now to take over as the next owner of the Texas Rangers, but he'll have to wait a while.
"Oh geez, it's so exciting," Greenberg said in Arlington. "Now again, we're not there yet. We've got a ways to go, but hopefully it's on the horizon. It's so exciting. We've got such a great young team. The fans are so hungry. Like I've said before, I really believe the Rangers are a sleeping giant and it's going to be fun to awaken the beast."
Greenberg is a Pittsburgh sports attorney and the lead investor in a group that reached an agreement to buy the team from Tom Hicks. The deal still has to be approved by baseball's executive and ownership committees and by at least 75-percent of baseball owners. On top of that, a group of 40 lenders holding debt from Hicks Sports Group also has to approve the sale.
"We're very confident," Greenberg says. "We've got a tremendous group with over eighty percent local investors. We feel very, very good about the approval process.
Hall of fame pitcher Nolan Ryan will be part owner and remain as the team's president.
"I don't think it'll change the way I look at the organization and my job," Ryan says. "I think it'll give me a little more time to focus and concentrate on the baseball side of it."
"He's just a special individual," Greenberg says about Ryan. Greenberg has had extensive minor league experience with teams in Myrtle Beach and State College but now he's venturing into a new arena.
"We're going to be obsessively committed to whatever it is that's going to serve our fans interests," Greenberg says. "The first thing everyone wants is a winner that's going to win the post season and get sprayed with champagne and we're committed to that. It's a big market that hasn't had a big market franchise and there are fans that aren't spoiled by an abundance of post season success
If all goes well, the new ownership group is expected to take over by opening day. It'll mark the end of a majority ownership lead by Tom Hicks which had become the longest ownership group in team history. That group took over in 1998.