CBA-Report-April12 - page 10

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April 2012 CBA REPORT
Cover Feature
O
By Judge Pat DeWine
O
n April 8, 2010, my 13-year-old
son Michael (right) stood on the
mound of historic McCormick
Field in Asheville, North Carolina, and
delivered a solid strike down the middle
of the plate as my dad (Attorney General
Mike DeWine), myself and other family
members looked on. That ceremonial
first pitch kicked off the Asheville Tour-
ists’ baseball season and inaugurated my
family’s ownership of the team.
The Tourists are a minor league
single-A affiliate of the Colorado Rock-
ies. Few people in Cincinnati are aware
of our relationship to the team. What
is a family that is mostly known for its
involvement in politics and law doing in
the baseball business? While the club is
an investment, owning a baseball team is
something that has long been a dream of
our family.
To grow up in my family was to grow
up a baseball fan. For as long as I can
remember, my dad shared Reds season
tickets with friends and law partners.
Some of my earliest memories are of
making the hour-plus trek from our
family home in Cedarville to River-
front Stadium — back in the era of 8:05
evening game times that made for some
tired starts to the next school day.
Without question the biggest baseball
fan in my family was my grandfather
Dick, who built a successful interna-
tional seed business in Yellow Springs.
He imparted his love of baseball not just
to me but to my Dad and each of my
seven brothers and sisters. He was a great
storyteller, and his favorite baseball story
was of the 1939 World Series.
At 16, he and a buddy made it to
Crosley Field and waited in line 36 hours
for tickets. Somehow in the chaos the two
got separated. My grandfather made it to
the front of line and bought two tickets.
He searched frantically for his friend but
couldn’t find him. Finally, he went into
the ballpark and climbed to the top deck.
Looking down at the crowd outside the
park he saw his buddy on the outside of
the stadium wiping away tears. Dick got
his attention, wrapped the extra ticket in
a silver dollar that his father had given
him, and tossed it down in the direction
of his buddy. Miraculously, the silver dol-
lar landed at his friend’s feet. Today, we
call the entity in which our family owns
the team “DeWine Seeds Silver Dollar
Baseball, LLC.”
If you haven’t been to Asheville, it is a
great place. It’s a hippie-ish small city on
the edge of the mountains. It’s something
of a southern combination of Yellow
Springs (where my parents are from) and
Ann Arbor (where I went to law school).
It has great restaurants, a thriving music
scene and an unbelievable
setting at the
edge of the
mountains. It
is the home of
the Biltmore,
the Grovepark
Inn and more
microbreweries
than you can
count.
My younger
brother Brian
— who worked
for several minor
league teams
before we bought
the Tourists — is the president of the
team. (And I have to admit that there
are more than a few mornings, sentenc-
ing criminal defendants, that I wish we
could trade jobs for a day or two — or a
DeWine Family Finds
Above,
Michael DeWine
delivers 2010 Tourist first
pitch.
At right,
Tourist
President Brian DeWine
and Ohio Attorney General
Mike DeWine take in opening day at McCormick Field.
Home Field
to its Advantage
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