The worst team owners of all time are the rich and powerful men and women who were the most hated by fans, the least successful or even the most scandalous of their time. These football, basketball, hockey and baseball team owners are some of the worst ever, so much so that decades after these entrepreneurs have left these teams, fans still talk of the damage that these awful owners did.
Many of these owners were involved with professional sports teams for several years but unfortunately many of these years were some of the worst ever for the teams. In more than 20 years owning the Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL, Mike Brown's team only reached the playoffs twice. Michael Jordan's Charlotte Bobcats tallied the worst record in the history of the NBA in the shortened 2011-12 season, winning just seven games and putting him up for the worst NBA executive of all time award.
But it's not just having a losing team that makes an owner one of the worst ever. Some owners were notorious about treating people badly or making unpopular decisions. Arnold Johnson, who moved the MLB Athletics franchise from Philadelphia to Kansas City, sold all of his good players out of greed. Marge Schott, owner of the Cincinnati Reds from 1984 to 1999, famously once said "Hitler wasn't so bad." No one will ever forgive Harry Frazee, owner of the Boston Red Sox from 1916 to 1923, for selling Babe Ruth so he could finance more Broadway plays.
If that isn't bad enough, some owners were straight up criminal in their actions. Harold Ballard, involved with the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1961 to 1990, was convicted on 47 charges including fraud, theft and tax evasion leading to a three-year stay in prison.Whether these terrible team owners just didn't have a clue and the franchise suffered because of it or if the owners were more scandalous, each of these team owners did something or another to earn them the distinction of being one of the worst team owners of all time. Have an owner you despise that we missed? Add it and vote for which owners you think are the best below!
Phil WrigleyChicago Cubs
New York Yankees 1964-1973
- 6368Cincinnati Bengals
- 5344Chicago Cubs
Charles ComiskyChicago White Sox
Harry FrazeeBoston Red Sox
Hal and Hank SteinbrennerNew York Yankees
Arnold JohnsonKansas City Athletics
- 40107Arizona Cardinals
Nintendo Of America
- 33142Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto Marlies and Toronto FC
- 6562Phoenix Suns
- 1939New York Yankees
Bill WirtzChicago Blackhawks
- 3776Carolina Panthers
- 5279St. Louis Rams, Denver Nuggets, Arsenal
- 2197Toronto Maple Leafs
Eugene MelnykAge: 61
- 1299Washington Nationals
- 1181Boston Bruins