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Frank McCourt and the Dodgers: A chronology

Frank McCourt took ownership of the Dodgers in 2004, and that season the team won the National League West. But in 2009, with the team in the playoffs again, Frank and Jamie McCourt split up, inexorably altering the course of the franchise.

June 27, 2011|By Houston Mitchell
  • Jamie and Frank McCourt hold up a pair of Dodgers jerseys while being introduced as the team's new owners during a news conference on Jan. 29, 2004.
Jamie and Frank McCourt hold up a pair of Dodgers jerseys while being introduced… (Reed Saxon / Associated…)

A look at the Dodgers under Frank McCourt:

2004

Jan. 29: Major League Baseball unanimously approves the sale of the Dodgers to Frank McCourt for $430 million by News Corp. It is a leveraged deal financed mostly by debt. McCourt's attorney Steve Susman says at a divorce trial in 2010 that McCourt put "not a penny" of his own cash into the deal. In McCourt's first season, the Dodgers win 93 games and take the National League West title for the first time since 1995.

2006

The Dodgers win the NL wild-card spot with an 88-74 record. They are swept by the New York Mets in the first round of the playoffs.

2007

October: Grady Little resigns as manager of the Dodgers and is succeeded by former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre.

2008

Dodgers finish 84-78 in their first season under Torre and lose to Philadelphia in the National League Championship Series.

2009

Oct. 14: On the eve of Game 1 of the NLCS against the Phillies, Frank and Jamie McCourt announce that they are separating after nearly 30 years of marriage. No reason is given for the separation. The announcement overshadows the fact that the Dodgers are playing in the NLCS in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1977-78.

Oct. 16: Frank and Jamie McCourt each declare ownership of the team, with Frank saying he owns 100% of the team and Jamie saying she owns half.

Oct. 22: Frank McCourt fires Jamie as chief executive of the team. Frank sends his estranged wife a letter asking her to contact human relations to arrange a time to return to her office and gather her belongings.

Oct. 24: Commissioner Bud Selig says MLB will monitor the ownership dispute but doesn't expect it to have a major effect on day-to-day operations of the Dodgers.

Oct. 27: Jamie McCourt officially files for divorce from Frank and asks the court to reinstate her as CEO of the Dodgers.

2010

Sept. 1: The Dodgers Dream Foundation comes under investigation by the California attorney general's office for payments it made to club executive Howard Sunkin. According to tax returns, Sunkin, the charity's chief executive, earned a salary of nearly $400,000 in 2007, almost a quarter of the foundation's budget.

Dec. 7: The judge in the divorce case invalidates the postnuptial marital property agreement that Frank McCourt had claimed provided him with sole ownership of the Dodgers. In the wake of this decision, McCourt's lawyers said Frank would use other legal avenues to establish his sole ownership of the Dodgers, while Jamie McCourt's lawyers said she would be confirmed as the co-owner of the team because it was community property of their marriage.

2011

March 31: San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow is attacked in the Dodger Stadium parking lot after the Dodgers' opener against the Giants. Stowe, wearing Giants attire, is attacked from behind by two men. Stow was in a coma for weeks and suffered brain damage.

April 19: Dodgers say they have repaid the amount of Sunkin's bonus to the Dream Foundation.

April 20: Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says he will appoint a trustee to oversee day-to-day operations of the Dodgers, effectively removing Frank McCourt from power.

June 17: Frank and Jamie McCourt announce that they have come to an agreement over ownership of the team and terms of the divorce, with contingencies. The first of those contingencies is that Selig approve a long-term television contract between the Dodgers and Fox.

June 20: Major League Baseball announces that Selig has rejected the TV deal with Fox, nullifying all terms of the agreement the McCourts had settled on three days earlier.

June 27: The Dodgers, with a payroll of an estimated $30 million due at the end of the week, file for bankruptcy protection, further throwing the ownership of the team into question.

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