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Cal Ripken Jr., Grant Hill, Michael Bloomberg part of Orioles' new $1.7 billion ownership group

The full group buying the Baltimore Orioles at a $1.725 billion valuation was revealed Wednesday, and it features a very big name for the club's fans.

Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr. is one of the nine names that were revealed in the Orioles' announcement of the sale by the Angelos family, which was reported Tuesday. The group is led by two billionaires in Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein and Ares Management co-founder Michael Arougheti, with Rubenstein the controlling owner.

In addition to Ripken, other shareholders include NBA Hall of Famer Grant Hill, former New York City mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg and former Baltimore mayor Kurt Schmoke, as well as Michele Kang, Mitchell Goldstein and Michael Smith.

The deal is still pending approval from MLB's other owners. Per previous reports, the new group will acquire 40% control of the Orioles, with the remainder transferring following the death of patriarch Peter Angelos. The Angelos family will reportedly retain a "sizable interest" in the team.

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Former Baltimore Oriole Cal Ripken Jr. on the field before the game against the Boston Red Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 29, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
Cal Ripken Jr. is back with the Orioles. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) (G Fiume via Getty Images)

Ripken is the Orioles' all-time leader in games played, hits, home runs and many other statistics. Since his retirement in 2001, the 63-year-old has built a business portfolio that includes the Aberdeen Ironbirds, an Orioles minor-league affiliate.

Ripken signaled his interest in purchasing a stake of the Orioles as far back as 2007. Now he'll be part of the group steering the team with which he, his brother, Billy, and his father, Cal Sr., played or coached for a combined 64 years.

Bringing in Ripken is a good way for a group of billionaires to endear themselves to the fan base, but the team's fans will obviously be wanting more.

The Orioles are being sold at a promising but pivotal time in franchise history. The team is coming off a 2023 season in which it went 101-61, its best record since 1979, and it boasts one of the most impressive collections of young talent in MLB, with young stars such as Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson as well as a farm system led by baseball's top prospect in Jackson Holliday.

At this point, the Orioles' priority will be finding supporting pieces for their young stars and trying to sign them to long-term extensions. The Angelos family earned the fan base's ire with its hesitance to spend in a sport in which payroll size heavily correlates with consistent winning, and now it will be up to the new ownership group to prove that it will do business differently.