In a historic move for Major League Baseball (MLB), we announced yesterday that Dave “Smoke” Stewart is leading Music City Baseball’s (MCB) Diverse Equity Ownership Initiative. This is a first-of-its-kind model for ownership of a MLB franchise.

Stewart, a former MLB pitcher and 3x World Series champion, the 1989 World Series MVP, and 1990 Roberto Clemente Award winner, will identify a collective of investors for joint ownership, prioritizing minority investors. There are currently no Black principal owners in MLB.

“The time has come for Black ownership in MLB. Now, more than ever, we need to change the dynamics and unlock access to ownership for minorities,” said Stewart, who has been a Board member and Baseball advisor for MCB since 2019. “We are creating a historic opportunity with the Nashville Stars, and I’m proud to lead our efforts to secure an ownership group that is aligned with our core mission, values, and legacy.”

While the league has not made any decisions regarding expansion or relocation to Nashville, the effort to focus on a diverse ownership structure mirrors MLB’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“Nashville has a unique opportunity to preserve history by creating history, honoring our city’s legacy and bringing new opportunities for equity participation and economic development,” said John Loar, Managing Director of MCB. “Baseball has a rich history of breaking barriers, and the diversity equity ownership initiative under Dave’s leadership will do just that in a city that’s primed for a major league franchise.”

“The vision for the Nashville Stars is the future of the game. My focus is to honor former Negro Leagues players and bring Black and diverse voices to the table,” said Stewart. “Nashville is giving MLB the opportunity to do something that has never been done before. It’s time to make history.”

This is an exciting day for the Stars, one that moves us even closer to the day when our home team takes the field to create history just by playing ball.