Former Cleveland Indians owner Jacobs dies

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CLEVELAND – Richard E. Jacobs, the former Cleveland Indians owner and commercial real estate developer, has died. He was 84.

Jacobs’ real estate company confirmed the death on Friday, saying he had been in ill health. No other details were immediately released.

Jacobs and his brother David bought the Indians from the Steve O’Neill estate in late 1986 for $40 million. David Jacobs died in 1992.

Dick Jacobs focused on restoring the struggling American League franchise’s profitability and making it competitive on the field.

The team’s new ballpark in downtown Cleveland became Jacobs Field when it opened in 1994, and the Indians made it to the World Series in 1995 and 1997. Jacobs owned the club until 2001.

The park was renamed Progressive Field last year, after Jacobs’ naming rights deal ended and Progressive Corp. bought the naming rights.

Jacobs was a low-key owner who preferred to let his baseball executives and manager be the face of the team.

While Indians owner, Jacobs attended most of Cleveland’s home games, sitting in his loge behind home plate.

He was chairman and chief executive officer of the Richard E. Jacobs Group, a firm in the Cleveland suburb of Westlake that he founded with his late brother David and Dominic Visconsi in 1955.

The company developed the 57-story Key Center in 1991 at Cleveland’s Public Square, the tallest building between New York and Chicago. The Jacobs Group is a national developer of shopping centers, office buildings, mixed-use developments and hotels.


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