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Tracing the L.A. Dodgers' Rapid Rise in the 3 Years Post-Frank McCourt

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Tracing the L.A. Dodgers' Rapid Rise in the 3 Years Post-Frank McCourt
Associated Press
Guggenheim Baseball Management purchased the Dodgers in 2012.

One of the most storied franchises in all of sports, the Los Angeles Dodgers had become an embarrassment under the leadership of owner Frank McCourt.

Despite a strong start to his tenure—the team went to the playoffs four times in six seasons after he purchased the club in 2004—Dodgers fans were rejoicing when McCourt finally relinquished ownership and Guggenheim Baseball Management took control on May 1, 2012.

McCourt and his wife, Jamie, who was the CEO of the team, announced their separation in October 2009, shortly after the team won its second consecutive division title. Over the next two seasons, their divorce proceedings were a constant topic surrounding the ballclub.

McCourt's mismanagement of the team's finances were also revealed—N.Y. Daily News reported (h/t The Wall Street Journal) in February 2010 that, according to court filings, McCourt had incurred a $390 million debt against the team—and by the beginning of the the 2011 season, it was unclear if he would even be able to meet payroll. 

After McCourt reportedly received a $30 million personal loan from Fox to meet payroll in April of 2011, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, Major League Baseball took control of the team. Commissioner Bud Selig then appointed a representative to oversee the day-to-day operations of the organization. 

"The Dodgers have been one of the most prestigious franchises in all of sports," Selig said in an April 2011 statement. "And we owe it to their legion of loyal fans to ensure that this club is being operated properly now and will be guided appropriately in the future."

A potential huge television deal was McCourt's last hope, but Selig did not feel it was in the best interest of the game to approve it. The Dodgers filed for bankruptcy in June 2011, and after a season in which attendance took a major hit—they went from third in baseball with an average home attendance of 43,979 per game in 2010 to 11th, with only 36,236 per game in 2011—McCourt agreed to sell the team. 

Since the new ownership group—an outfit which includes Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson—took the reins, it's been a quick ascent back to the top for the Dodgers. Here's the sequence of events that helped them get there.

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