They said it: New Stone Crabs owner Lou Schwechheimer

By Josh Vitale, SunCoast Sports

PORT CHARLOTTE — On Wednesday morning at Charlotte Sports Park, the Charlotte Stone Crabs introduced Lou Schwechheimer as the team’s new owner and second in team history after Ripken Baseball.

Here’s what Schwechheimer, CBI-Rays partner Jordan Kobritz, Charlotte County Commissioner Bill Truex, Florida State League president Ken Carson and Tampa Bay Rays vice president of strategy and development Melanie Lenz had to say during the press conference:

Bill Truex – Charlotte County Commissioner

“What an exciting day in Charlotte County, huh? I tell you, I woke up this morning with butterflies. I don’t know why. It was like I was part of the organization or something. But when something happens in your community that you’re excited about, I think you need to share that.”

“I want to thank Lou and Jordan for identifying what this place means to us. Lou and I got to speak very briefly this morning, and you could hear the passion in their voices, both of them, about what they see in this opportunity and in this ballpark. There’s so much opportunity and so much here to offer, and you can hear the love and passion in what they have to say. So I want to welcome everybody, welcome you to Charlotte County, and let you know that if there’s anything we can do, we will certainly be here to assist you.”

Ken Carson – Florida State League President

“I’d just like to welcome Jordan and Lou and Matt (White) to the Florida State League. I’ve known them for a number of years, and you guys are in great hands with this new ownership group. They’re great people, and they work very hard to make sure the fans are going to enjoy themselves and everything is going to run smoothly.”

Melanie Lenz – Tampa Bay Rays Senior Vice President of Strategy and Development

“As I was driving down here this morning—and I say this every time I speak to a lot of you—it feels like coming home. There’s something about this place, this county, this ballpark that feels like home. And now we have new members of this family to welcome into this home. We couldn’t be prouder to have Lou and Jordan as part of the Rays family and as the new owners of the Stone Crabs.”

Lou Schweccheimer.

Lou Schweccheimer.

Lou Schwechheimer – General Partner of CBI-Rays

“It’s a real honor. As I look at this (Stone Crabs) hat, I recognize the sacred trust in us. And being on the other side of the field (with the Pawtucket Red Sox) for 35 years, and then watching the Rays come in and win so many championships at our home in McCoy Stadium, it’s an honor for me to put this hat on and be part of this organization, and be entrusted with this beautiful ballpark, and be part of this community.”

“This is my 37th year in baseball. I started as an unpaid intern. I’ve met with the staff. I’ve been to this ballpark many times. Like you, I love this ballpark and I love this community. And what you’ll find is that we will be a part of this community. That is where we’re coming from. In my 35, 36 years of baseball, I’ve always found that, when you’re entrusted with a leadership role, with an ownership role, you have a moral responsibility to make the community in which you live better. The things that you do at the ballpark—like Bill Veeck, who was a legendary owner, said. “Your ballpark is the front porch to your community.” It’s a gathering place. It’s a place where people from every walk of life can come and enjoy three hours, four hours of magic. And we’re about creating magic. I know the history of the ballpark. I know the history of the Rays. I’ve looked in awe at the players who have come through this building and come in to Major League Baseball. They are one of the preeminent organizations in all of professional baseball, and we couldn’t be happier now to be members of the Rays family.”

“A couple of things about our philosophy that I think are important: No. 1, we will give more than we take. We believe in free clinics for kids. We believe in giving back to the community with scholarship funds. We believe in doing the little things, day in and out. Judge us by our actions, and you will find that we are good listeners. … I promise you, from this day forward, you will have a great partner.”

“We’ve got a great staff. (General manager Jared Forma) and his crew, I look forward to working with them, and I look forward to working with the Rays. We’re going to do the little things right. And you have our commitment to be here for the long haul.”

Jordan Kobritz – Partner, CBI-Rays

“This a great day for all of us, especially me. This is a return to some of my roots. This is my second rodeo in the Florida State League.”

“I know we have a lot of fans out there, and the fans like to see winners. So I wanted to let you know that, when we owned the Daytona Cubs, we won two championships in the Florida State League. Then I sold the team, and they won four more. I’m going to take a little credit for that, even though I know I shouldn’t. And then last August, we signed a purchase and sale agreement on the Stone Crabs. And low and behold, they caught fire and—you fans know what happened there. Another Florida State League championship. So if you add all of those up, that’s seven championships in 23 years. That’s one every three years. So I just want to put (the Rays) on notice here: We may give them a pass this year, and maybe next year. But if my addition and division is correct, that’s one championship every three years. No pressure.”

“But that’s not why we’re here, to win championships. That’s the goal of the major league team. We’re here to have minor league baseball. I’m not going to repeat everything Lou said, but he’s right on. And as usual, we’re on the same page.”

Video courtesy CC-TV Charlotte County, FL.

One thought on “They said it: New Stone Crabs owner Lou Schwechheimer

  1. Charlotte is one lucky community to have landed Lou Schwechheimer! We miss his community spirit, kindness and good humor here in Rhode Island. He is one of the most generous people that I have been fortunate to know. Congratulations to the new ownership team and good luck to the Stone Crabs!


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