Publishing magnate and former New York Mets owner Nelson Doubleday (above, left) passed away Tuesday at the age of 81. Doubleday, who sold his shares in the club to partner Fred Wilpon in 2002, presided over the Mets dramatic rise to mid-80’s glory in a manner that seems almost unrecognizable to those familiar with the Wilpon or Dolan management styles. From Wednesday’s New York Times and William Grimes :
Allergic to the limelight and a delegator by inclination, Mr. Doubleday kept in the background. An exception was his lead role in a successful campaign to oust Bowie Kuhn as commissioner of baseball — Kuhn wanted the teams in major markets to subsidize teams in smaller cities — and replace him with Peter V. Ueberroth.
A stark contrast to his counterpart in the Bronx, George M. Steinbrenner, Mr. Doubleday left the running of the club to its general manager, Frank Cashen, and its managers, the first being Joe Torre.
“You get good people to do a job and then you don’t spend too much time looking over their shoulders,” Mr. Doubleday told The New York Times in 1980. In 1986, when Davey Johnson was managing the team, the pitcher Ron Darling said: “When the dugout telephone rings, you never imagine it’s Nelson Doubleday. It isn’t, and it never could be. Not with that owner. And not with that manager.”