1978-1987

BUDDY LeROUX

Edward "Buddy" LeRoux was born on August 17, 1930 in Woburn, Mass. He graduated from  Woburn Memorial High School, Northeastern University and was a veteran of the  United States Marine Corps.

He became a successful businessman after beginning his sporting career as an athletic trainer for the Boston Celtics during their championship runs in the 1950s and 1960s), the  Boston Bruins from 1966 through 1974, and the Red Sox themselves. 

He invested in real estate and a series of physical therapy and rehabilitation hospitals during the 1970s and by then he was a wealthy man, wealthy enough to assemble a group of investors seeking to purchase the Red Sox from Jean Yawkey.

With the backing of  Rogers Badgett, Buddy put together a 30-share limited partnership and then recruited Red Sox vice president Haywood Sullivan, one of Mrs. Yawkey's favorites among her husband's employees, as a member of his syndicate.

When the  American League initially rejected the purchase in 1978, Mrs. Yawkey herself, joined the LeRoux-Sullivan bid, and when the league finally approved the sale in May, the club had three general partners. Buddy (in charge of business operations), Sullivan (general manager in charge of baseball operations) and Mrs. Yawkey (club president). At one point, LeRoux and Badgett controlled an estimated 42 percent of Red Sox stock.

But he and his limited partners grew restive when the Red Sox fell from contention, and attendance at Fenway Park and revenues fell from prior levels. Part of the club's on-field decline was due to fiscal belt-tightening and refusal to compete aggressively for veteran talent by retaining or signing free agents, although it was not clear which general partner ordered the policy.

Reportedly, the LeRoux faction wanted the team run in a more business-like manner, while Mrs. Yawkey sought to preserve some of the philosophies of her late husband, known as a player-friendly" owner. Buddy was thwarted in an attempt to sell his share in the team for $20 million to Boston businessman David Mugar, and then rejected a counter-offer from Mrs. Yawkey and Sullivan.

In any event, in 1983, a season in which the team suffered its first losing campaign since 1966, the rift among the ownership factions became public. On June 6th, prior to a Monday night home game against the Detroit Tigers, the Red Sox planned a special benefit for Tony Conigliaro, who had been incapacitated at age 37, by a  heart attack in January 1982. Conigliaro's old teammates from the 1967 "Impossible Dream" Red Sox assembled for a  pre-game ceremony, and a crowd of nearly 24,000 gathered, one of the largest gates at Fenway Park since Opening Day. 

Boston's television stations had crews in place to cover "Tony C Night." But prior to the festivities, Buddy called a press conference and announced that he and the majority of the team's limited partners, chiefly Badgett and Al Curran, were exercising language in their partnership agreement to overthrow Sullivan and Yawkey and take command of the club. He announced a reorganization of internal management and appointed himself managing general partner, while bringing in former Red Sox general manager Dick O'Connell to replace Sullivan as head of baseball operations. Boston media immediately dubbed the gambit "the Coup LeRoux".

The two ousted general partners immediately filed suit against him, were granted an injunction, and then battled him in court over the next 12 months. The trial revealed unflattering details about all the principals. It was learned that he and his faction were in secret negotiations to buy the Cleveland Indians while still involved with the Red Sox and his legal team heaped criticism upon the management decisions of Mrs. Yawkey and Sullivan.

In early June 1984, the legal fight ended with an appeals court ruling against him. He was removed as the team's executive vice president, administration, and his allies were purged from management. In late 1985, Jean Yawkey bought out Badgett, Curran and Buddy's own limited partnership (which reportedly fetched $2 million). On March 30, 1987, Mrs. Yawkey acquired his general partnership for a reported $7 million to become majority general partner in the team.

Buddy LeRoux then largely faded from the public eye, although from 198689, he did own Boston's Suffolk Downs racetrack. By the late 1980s, he had filed assets of $100 million, including oil wells, greyhound racing dogs and antique cars.

Buddy LeRoux died on January 7, 2008 from non-prescribed medicine given to him by a doctor in Wolfeboro, NH. He was 77 years old.