Adam Dobb bought a baseball club. But the new Sydney Blue Sox owner isn’t millions out of pocket.
The Merewether father-of-five made the purchase for just one dollar.
Now, seven months away from the opening pitch and first home run of the revamped Australian Baseball League for 2018-2019, the challenge begins to make up the franchise’s previous financial hardships.
“I now have to fix the place or it costs me $240,000, which is its [Sydney Blue Sox] current losses,” Dobb said.
“So I take on all operating risks that are current.”
The 39-year-old businessman, who is the founder and director of telecommunications company Commworx with headquarters at Thornton, has already begun the process of turning the place around.
Dobb nominated fan engagement, recruitment/retention and junior development as three key points.
“It’s fan engagement, it’s building a roster that’s competitive and then ensuring our juniors aren’t lost to he game and grow to be at that level,” he said.
“I don’t want to accept finishing fifth. We will win a title within three years and I’m not going to stop until we do.”
The Sydney Blue Sox haven’t won the current ABL crown, finishing third on five consecutive occasions between 2011 and 2015.
Dobb plans to travel to Taiwan and the US during the year to scout for possible players.
And with baseball back on the Olympic program for the Games in Tokyo in 2020, domestic products will be looking to push their case for national selection.
Dobb – a long-time Newcastle first grader, NSW Country representative and little league coach – hasn’t ruled out taking games to regional areas across the state, including the Hunter.
The Australian Baseball League are looking to expand from six to eight teams this season, announced late last year, with New Zealand and Korea both possible options.
Newcastle Baseball Association expressed an interest early in the piece but at this stage there will be no reincarnation of the Hunter Eagles, who played in the national competition between 1994 and 1998.
Other clubs are Canberra Cavalry, Perth Heat, Melbourne Aces, Adelaide Bite and three-time defending champions Brisbane Bandits.
Dobb is the first of the new private owners to be announced.