The St. Louis Cardinals are a professional Major League baseball franchise based in St. Louis, Missouri in the United States of America. An investment group consisting of William DeWitt, Jr., Fred Hanser, the Klingaman Group, and others, owns the St. Louis Cardinals, who bought the team from Anheuser-Busch (AB) in 1996.
Owners, transactions and valuation 
Chris von der Ahe (1882-1898) 
Chris von der Ahe was the first owner of the Cardinals franchise, then known as the Brown Stockings and pioneered many of the elements commonly associated with the sport at the game. A German immigrant who made his way a grocer and saloon owner, he saw potential in the sport without otherwise having any other background in it. He also became a polarizing figure with his employees and rivals: Von der Ahe was a flamboyant and magnanimous entrepreneur who gained enormous popularity in St. Louis and his team but was reviled by rival owners. He was marked by a willingness to charge lower admission rates, encouraging play on Sundays, and opening beer concessions at the stadium, a practice that the National League prohibited during Von der Ahe's time. He also was one of the few owners to make a profit during his time, in contrast with his rival owners, whose American Association eventually collapsed due to bankruptcy.  National League owners such Albert Spalding bristled at his promotional techniques that became common to today's game. Charlie O. Finley, Larry McPhail, and Bill Veeck eventually employed sideshow attractions, like the "stadium club" and the shoot-the-chute.
In 1881, after the Browns profited $25,000 from playing a season's worth of informal contests, Von der Ahe bought out the team's remaining stockholders for $1,800. With baseball's already existing popularity in Cincinnati and increasing popularity in other cities such as Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Baltimore, the time was right for a new league. Late that same year, along with other owners and financiers, Von der Ahe formed the American Association of Base Ball Clubs with the Brown Stockings. In 1899, von der Ahe, once the most successful owner in the AA, was forced to sell the Browns due to bankruptcy.
Sam Breadon (1920-1947) 
Anheuser-Busch (1953-1996) 
DeWitt, Baur and Hanser (1996-Present) 
As with other periods of the Cardinals' transaction history, doubt loomed as to whether the purchaser would keep the team in St. Louis, due to the city's status as a "small market," which appear to handicap a club's competitiveness. Such was the case when Sam Breadon sold the Cardinals in 1947: then-NL President Ford Frick had proposed to Breadon the idea of moving the Cardinals to Chicago. When AB placed the Cardinals for sale in 1995, they publicly expressed intention to find a buyer who would keep the club in St. Louis. In March 1996, AB sold the team for $147 million to a partnership headed by Southwest Bank's Drew Baur, Hanser and DeWitt, Jr. Civic Center Redevelopment, a subsidiary of AB, held the parking garages and adjacent property and also transferred them to the Baur ownership group. Baur's group then sold the garages to another investment group, making the net cost of the franchise purchase about $100 million, making the net purchase price about $10 million less than Financial World's value of the team at the time $110 million.
Current Cincinnati Reds owner Bob Castellini and brothers Thomas Williams and W. Joseph Williams Jr. each once owned a stake in the Cardinals dating back to the Baur-DeWitt group's purchase of the team. To allow their purchase of the Reds in 2005, the rest of the group bought out Castellini's and the Williams brothers' shares, totaling an estimated thirteen percent. At that time, the Forbes valued the Cardinals at about $370 million. However, after reabsorbing that stake into the remainder of the group, they decided to make it available to new investors in 2010. Amid later allegations that the Cardinals owed the city profit shares, DeWitt revealed that their profitability had not reached the threshold to trigger that obligation.
Recent annual financial records 
As of 2013, according to Forbes, the Cardinals are the tenth-most valuable franchise of thirty in MLB at $716.2 million dollars, with a revenue of $239 million. They play "in the best single-team baseball market in the country and are among the league's leaders in television ratings and attendance every season." Concurrent with the growth of Major League Baseball, the Cardinals value has increased significantly since the Baur-DeWitt purchase. In 2000, the franchise was valued at $219 million dollars, a growth rate of 327%. Since 2012, the franchise's value grew 21%.
Valuation per Forbes. 1 Based on current stadium deal (unless new stadium is pending) without deduction for debt, other than stadium debt.
(2013: Market $291 mil., Stadium $182 mil., Sport $151 mil., Brand Management $91 mil.)
(2012: Market $240 mil., Stadium $157 mil., Sport $119 mil., Brand Management $78 mil.)
(2011: Market $206 mil., Stadium $136 mil., Sport $111 mil., Brand Management $65 mil.)
2 Net of stadium revenues used for debt payments.
3 Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
4 Includes benefits and bonuses.
5 Compares the number of wins per player payroll relative to the rest of MLB. Playoff wins count twice as much as regular season wins. A score of 120 means that the team achieved 20% more victories per dollar of payroll compared with the league average in 2010.
Individuals who have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame are indicated with a β.
Ownership timeline 
Other club officials 
General managers 
Other executives 
- ^ "In defense of DeWit & Company". Scout.com. December 24, 2008. Retrieved April 27, 2013.
- ^ "Chris Von der Ahe's Obit". New York Times. June 6, 1913. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- ^ a b "Chris Von der Ahe: Baseball's Pioneering Huckster". SABR. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- ^ "The man who invented the St. Louis Cardinals". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. April 30, 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- ^ Hetrick1999: 8
- ^ Hetrick1999: 9
- ^ a b "Baseball's Sign of the Times: Under New Ownership". Chicago Tribune. December 26, 1995. Retrieved April 27, 2013.
- ^ a b "Anheuser-Busch Puts Cardinals Up for Sale". Eugene Register-Guard. October 26, 1995. Retrieved April 27, 2013.
- ^ Judd 2002: 91
- ^ "Cards owners worth $4 billion". St. Louis Business Journal. May 6, 2001. Retrieved April 27, 2013.
- ^ "Cardinals group to buy up departing owners' stakes". St. Louis Business Journal. November 20, 2005. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
- ^ "DeWitt III defends Cardinals; releases owner names". St. Louis Business Journal. December 7, 2010. Retrieved April 27, 2013.
- ^ "#10 St. Louis Cardinals". Forbes. March 26, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- ^ "St. Louis Cardinals, LLC". Privco. March 26, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- ^ "#8 St. Louis Cardinals". Forbes. April 7, 2010. Retrieved Nov. 14, 2011.
- ^ "#11 St. Louis Cardinals". Forbes. March 23, 2011. Retrieved Nov. 14, 2011.
- ^ "#11 St. Louis Cardinals". Forbes. March 21, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
- ^ "#10 St. Louis Cardinals". Forbes. March 27, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
Further reading 
- Hetrick, J. Thomas (1999). Chris Von Der Ahe and the St. Louis Browns. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-3473-1.
- Judd, Dennis (2002). The Infrastructure of Play: Building the Tourist City. Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 978-0-7656-0956-4.
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