The Lancaster JetHawks have been sold to a local ownership group that includes an owner of the Orem Owlz, pending approval from baseball’s governing bodies.
The Lancaster JetHawks (High Class A; California League) have been sold to a local ownership group that includes an owner of the Orem Owlz (rookie; Pioneer League), pending approval from baseball’s governing bodies.
Peter A. Carfagna’s ownership group sold to an ownership group headed by Lawrence Lyttle and Jeff Katofsky, both Southern California residents. Lyttle and Katofsky, who is also majority owner of the Owlz, become the third ownership group in the JetHawks’ 14-year history. The sale is expected to close by Opening Day, after receiving approval by the California League and pending approval by Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball.
Lyttle, who resides in Pacific Palisades, is a longtime television executive and producer who has sheparded dozens of television series from Murphy Brown to Night Court to China Beach to Moesha to Judge Judy and on. In addition, Lyttle has served in the political arena as a media consultant on Sen. Joe Lieberman’s 2004 Presidential campaign and Phil Angelides’ gubernatorial campaign against Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“We are truly thrilled to have this opportunity become involved with the JetHawks and the Lancaster community,” said Lyttle. “Our goal is to create an environment where the entire family has an enormous amount of fun and can enjoy the excitement of great, entertaining baseball. It is a perfect place to spend summer evenings!”
During the Carfagna family’s three-year ownership of the JetHawks, the club experienced growth in attendance as well as increases in overall annual revenues each season. The ownership group also invested in, and oversaw, the first major capital improvement made to Clear Channel Stadium with the installation of a state-of-the-art video board in left field. The franchise underwent a successful and popular team identity change prior to the 2008 season, the final year of a successful two-year affiliation with the Boston Red Sox. During the affiliation with the Red Sox, the team won four straight Southern Division half titles and Lancaster was part of its second World Championship when Boston won the 2007 World Series. The team has also become well-known for its unique and popular promotions, including last year’s tattered t-shirt giveaway, the annual Aerospace Appreciation Weekend, and full-sized skateboard giveaway, all of which have garnered the team national exposure and recognition.
“We truly enjoyed our time in Lancaster during our involvement with the JetHawks and are excited to hand the reins of the franchise to two local individuals in Larry and Jeff who will be able to build on the successes we experienced during the last several years,” explained Carfagna. “We remain committed to Minor League Baseball through our continuing ownership of the Lake County Captains, located in our home of suburban Cleveland.”