Huntsville franchise sold

By David Jenkins
October 24, 2001

Miles Prentice, who was rebuffed at the last moment in his bid to buy the Kansas City Royals in 1999, has fronted an eight-man syndicate to purchase the Double-A Huntsville Stars from a local Huntsville group that includes current league president Don Mincher.

Prentice, who will be the principal owner, and his group paid a reported $6 million for the franchise, nearly $2 million more than when Mincher’s group bought the club from Larry Schmittou in 1994.

“We could have made more, but that would have meant moving the team to another city,” said Mincher, who still served as team president and maintained his league office inside Joe Davis Stadium this past season. “I don’t know what he would do eventually if the support is not here, but I know his intention is to keep baseball in Huntsville a long time.”

Prentice, 59, announced at the sale that Stars general manager Bryan Dingo and assistant GM Cliff Pate, as well as the majority of their staff, will be retained for the 2002 season.

“They will run the show,” Prentice told the Huntsville Times. While he refused to address the issue, Prentice remains in the hunt as a partner attempting to buy the Boston Red Sox, terming the Stars’ purchase a separate matter.

Prentice already is a part-owner of the Double-A Midland RockHounds and the Odessa, Texas, Western Hockey League franchise.

Prentice’s partners in the Huntsville purchase include fellow New Yorkers Hank Amon and Jerry Gold; Kansas City partners Allen Havlin, Thomas Turner and Don Wagner; and Detroit executives Joseph Coughlin and Bill Larkin.