(WFRV) – The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and Fond du Lac Dock Spiders are under new ownership after the Appleton Baseball Club, Inc. was purchased by Third Base Ventures.
Challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which canceled the entire minor league baseball season last summer, caused the Appleton Baseball Club to look into selling the club. Choosing to see the team Third Base Ventures, which is made of group of Northeast Wisconsin natives, would ensure baseball staying in the Fox Valley.
“At the beginning of the year, we understood there would be major changes made in the baseball world, but, when COVID-19 caused the economic shutdown and we lost the entire baseball season, we knew it would be difficult for the team to survive moving forward,” said Timber Rattlers President Rob Zerjav. “I have known Craig for almost twenty years and his track record speaks for itself. I truly believe our new ownership group will allow the team to not only survive this pandemic but thrive for many years to come.”
Third Base Ventures is a new company comprised of principal owner Craig Dickman, and minority owners Rob Zerjav and Brad Raaths.
Dickman is currently the managing director of Titletown Tech, a venture partnership between the Green Bay Packers and Microsoft. He served on the Appleton Baseball Club’s Board of Directors from 2001 to 2009, and is currently a member of the Green Bay Packers Board of Directors.
“I am excited to rejoin the Timber Rattlers and be part of this exceptional organization,” said Dickman in a press release. “We are looking forward to welcoming fans back in 2021 and building the next chapter of professional baseball in Wisconsin.”
Zerjav is a name some Timber Rattlers fans will recognize. He is currently the President of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and Fond du Lac Dock Spiders, and has been with the club for 24 years.
Raaths is currently a partner in the Madison based law firm DeWitt LLP, and grew up in the Fox Cities area.
Appleton Baseball Club was established in 1939 as a non-profit organization when the group was granted a franchise in the Wisconsin State League. Eventually becoming minor league affiliates for the Washington Senators, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners, and now as the High-A affiliate for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Third Base Ventures also reached an agreement to purchase Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium from the Fox Cities Amateur Sports Authority.
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