After the infamous disco demolition night in 1979 at Comiskey Park, Mike Veeck spent a decade out of baseball. He eventually ended up running an ad agency in south Florida. That’s where, and how he met Bill Murray, who—among others—had just purchased the (then) Miami Marlins, a Florida State League team that they rebranded the Miracle. In 1990, Marvin Goldklang bought into the team, and Veeck joined the Miracle as President under the Goldklang Group.
Just a few short years later, the Miracle moved (back) to Fort Myers in 1992, and became a full affiliate of the Twins in 1993. Goldklang, Murray, and company owned the Miracle until 2014, when the team was sold to current minority partner Jason Hochberg.
Also in 1993, Murray and Veeck expanded their baseball partnership. Along with Marvin Goldklang, they founded an independent baseball team in Saint Paul—resurrecting the long-dormant Saints name. Originally competing in the Northern League, Veeck served as the first President and majority owner of the new team. While Goldklang is now the principle owner of the Saints, both Veeck and Murray are still partners. This team and group are more-or-less credited with the revival of independent baseball in the US.
Affiliation, at this point is all-but-assured, and sometime later this week the Saints will officially become the Twins’ Triple-A affiliate. While this was a process with a lot of questions, two decades of past relationships likely helped. Dave St. Peter has been with the Twins since 1990, and the Pohlad family have owned them longer than that. Both were obviously well-respected, as Goldklang described the day he sold the Miracle as “One of the tougher days I’ve had” and stated “We’ve had a phenomenal partnership, not only with the Twins for all of these years, but with Lee County and with the community.”
In addition to the front offices having significant history, several current Twins played for Fort Myers under the ownership of the Goldkang group, including Jorge Polanco, Byron Buxton, and Caleb Thielbar—the latter also spending time with the Saints.
Five-plus years after selling the Miracle, several big names from that ownership group are once again members of the Twins’ organization, with a twist few would have seen coming.