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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — An investment group led by Hall of Fame pitcher and Texas Rangers president Nolan Ryan won a contentious and unusual auction for the team early Thursday, beating back a nearly $600 million offer from outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
Officials in federal bankruptcy court announced the winning bid to cheers and a standing ovation in the packed courtroom, shortly before 1 a.m. and some 10 hours after the auction began.
The group led by Ryan and Pittsburgh sports attorney Chuck Greenberg had Major League Baseball's endorsement, and its final $593 million offer included $385 million in cash. The final hearing on the team's bankruptcy plan was scheduled for later Thursday.
"It was an emotional roller-coaster," a smiling Ryan said between hugs with colleagues and well-wishers in the courthouse. "You go to court one day and it didn't go your way, but you go back another day and it would. It's a relief."
Final approval of the Rangers sale rests with MLB, which had the option of choosing the second-highest bid instead. But it didn't come to that.
Said league president Bob DuPuy outside the courtroom: "I'm very pleased and I look forward to Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan leading the team for many years to come."
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