Either Ken Babby happens to be the biggest Aeros fan known to minor-league baseball or he’s the new owner in waiting.
What is known for sure is that the sale of the Aeros, the Double-A affiliate of the Indians, is in the midst of being approved through a three-tiered process that begins with the Eastern League, moves to the minor-league level and then is finalized by Major League Baseball.
As the team begins the process of changing hands from the longtime father-son ownership of Mike and Greg Agganis, Babby’s name has surfaced prominently as the reported buyer.
As is common with pending baseball sales, all parties involved are prohibited from public comment until the sale is complete. Thus, the Aeros, the Eastern League and Babby have declined to comment.
In the meantime, Babby, 32, of Potomac, Md., has displayed an extreme interest in the team. His personal Twitter feeds and Facebook page are full of references to the Aeros from their recently completed postseason run to their fourth Eastern League championship.
The background picture on Babby’s Facebook page is of Aeros players celebrating with champagne following their title-clinching victory in Trenton, N.J.
Last week, a Babby Twitter post read: “198 Days Until Minor League Baseball Opening Day. #CantWait”
The previous week, Babby retweeted several posts regarding information on the Aeros as they battled the Bowie Baysox in the playoff division series and then the Trenton Thunder in the championship series.
According to Babby’s professional profile on Linkedin, he is currently the founder and CEO of Fast Forward Sports Group LLC, which the page says is “based in Cleveland/Akron, Ohio Area.” Babby, a former chief revenue officer/general manager of digital at the Washington Post, spent 12 years with the newspaper. He rose through the ranks after starting there as an IT intern.
Before entering the newspaper business, Babby earned degrees at Johns Hopkins University and Wheaton College. In March, he took a buyout at the Washington Post as part of the newspaper’s efforts to downsize amid declining revenue.
His father, Lon Babby, is a former sports agent who serves as the president of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. It is understood that if Ken Babby were to gain control of the team, he would not move or rename the Aeros.
As of Friday, the Aeros website still listed Greg Agganis as the team’s chief executive owner. However, rumors have circulated that the pending sale could be approved as early as next week.
Mike Agganis purchased the Aeros, then known as the Lynn Sailors playing in Lynn, Mass., in 1981.
He then moved the team to Burlington, Va., where it became affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds and later the Seattle Mariners.
In 1989, the club moved again, this time to Canton, and became the Canton-Akron Indians, an Indians affiliate. After eight seasons in Canton, Agganis moved the franchise to Akron in 1997 when the Aeros were born and began playing in their current downtown home of Canal Park.
Deputy Metro Editor Craig Webb contributed to this report. Stephanie Storm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.