In a sale announced today, Main Street Baseball will hold the largest percentage of shares in the Wilmington Blue Rocks (High Class A; Carolina League), with Clark Minker remaining as team president. UPDATED!
Main Steet Baseball is buying the team along with Clark Minker, who will be club president and remain in charge. GM Chris Kemple will remain in his post as well.
It’s been a busy offseason for Main Street Baseball and its owners, Dave Heller and Bob Herrfeldt. Last month it was announced the group was buying the Billings Mustangs (rookie; Pioneer League), adding the team to a portfolio that includes the Quad Cities River Bandits (Low Class A; Midwest League) and the High Desert Mavericks (High Class A; California League). Heller and crew were also a big part of the Ballpark Digest Awards, receiving Best Ballpark Improvement for the notable installation of a Ferris wheel at Modern Woodmen Park.
Minker is the son of Matt Minker, the long-time owner of the franchise and for years one of the most revered figures in minor league baseball. Matt Minker also served as the lead contractor in the construction of Frawley Stadium, the Blue Rocks’ long-time home, and worked on the construction of the ballpark along with his son, Clark. The Carolina League’s community service award, won in 2014 by the Blue Rocks, is named after Matt Minker, who passed away seven years ago.
“This team has been in my family ever since the first pitch was thrown back in 1993,” said Blue Rocks Managing Partner Clark Minker. “My family’s construction company built Frawley Stadium and my Dad and I were the first people to play catch in the outfield. This team means more to me than just about anything, and I’m going to do everything I can to ensure that it thrives in Wilmington for decades to come.”
“My wife June and I are so thrilled to partner with our friends Clark and Maureen Minker as we prepare to build on all of the great work Clark, his dad Matt, and the entire Minker family have done over the past two decades in Wilmington,” said Main Street Baseball president Dave Heller. “For a kid who grew up an hour away in Baltimore, owning one of the premier teams in the region is a dream come true. To do it with a great friend like Clark makes it all the more special. He and I have big plans to take this great club to even higher heights and provide fans here with the very best affordable, family-friendly entertainment and most fun in the entire region. I can’t wait to get started!”
“I’m so happy that we get to keep the Blue Rocks in the family and in Wilmington,” said Blue Rocks Vice President Jack Minker. “I’ve known Clark his entire life and he has the drive, the intelligence, and the passion to take the Blue Rocks to the next level. I know that, working together, Clark and Dave have great plans for this franchise and this ballpark, and all of us are so excited to watch them work their magic.”
“The Minker family roots run deep in Wilmington and in the Carolina League and we’re delighted to have Clark and Dave Heller take over the club,” said Carolina League President John Hopkins. “Clark knows Wilmington and is committed to the community and Dave is known throughout minor league baseball for the great success he’s had with his other clubs. We are delighted to welcome them to Wilmington!”