Ortiz part of group to form private equity firm


A group of former Major League Baseball players, including David Ortiz, announced on Wednesday the formation of a new private equity firm to invest in baseball-specific companies.

Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan and Barry Larkin, along with Ortiz, Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells are the principal financial backers of the firm called Dugout Ventures.

The firm follows the trend of athletes investing in companies. Carmelo Anthony founded Melo7 Tech Partners in 2013 and Kobe Bryant announced a $100 million venture capital firm in August.

Dugout Ventures has already had its hand in two baseball related brands. The company financed protection company EvoShield before it was sold to Amer Sports and also invested in bat company Marucci.

“Like Warren Buffett says, ‘it’s not what you know, but how realistic you are about what you don’t know,” Ortiz said in a statement. We know baseball. But we plan on finding the best people in the business to help us on what we don’t know.”

In addition to the money put in by the players, Dugout Ventures is inviting investors to invest a total of up to $50 million in a fund of the company’s investments.

Players aren’t the only ones investing in sports. Teams are as well. The Los Angeles Dodgers, for example, put money into young companies by investing in companies the franchise has admitted into its two accelerator programs.

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