Followers of the Washington Nationals know that local businessman Fred Malek played a big role in bringing baseball back to Washington, DC. He is well connected in the worlds of business, politics, and baseball, having once been, among other things, part-owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team.
I had the priviledge of sitting by Malek at a Washington Nationals game at RFK Stadium in 2005, when major league baseball was still deciding who the new owners of the team would be and Malek was considered one of the 3 front-runners (this was back when I had VIP seats behind the 1st base dugout… alas, those connections are long gone and I while I’m still behind the dugout I will be back in row MM at Nationals Park.)
I’d never met Malek — only read about this high-rolling politico who managed billions of dollars in private equity funds. I was struck by his youthful enthusiasm for this losing team, and by his sheer popularity. Throughout the game, one fan after another approached his seat on the aisle, shook his hand, and told him they were pulling for him to win the bid to own the team.
Despite losing the bid, Malek remains a passionate fan of both the Nationals and their new ownership team. What I didn’t know was that Fred is also a fan of both Teddy Roosevelt and of the presidents race at Nationals Park.
In his blog at fredmalekblog.com, Malek describes the 4th inning presidents race as “the great Nationals tradition,” and goes on to voice his support for our favorite president, Teddy Roosevelt. He even puts in a generous plug for letteddywin.com.
Mr. Malek, I am proud to know that you are a reader, and thrilled that you are still such a strong supporter of the team. I have no complaints about what the Lerners have done with our beloved Nationals (after all, they brought the presidents race from the scoreboard down to the field), but I have no doubt that you would have been a great owner as well.
Photo from fredmalekblog.com.