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Jeffery Scott Wilpon is an American businessman, the COO of the New York Mets baseball team, the executive vice-president of Sterling Equities, and the owner of Overwatch League Esports team the New York Excelsior. He is the son of New York Mets' principal owner Fred Wilpon.

Jeff Wilpon
Born
Jeffery Scott Wilpon

1961/1962 (age 57–58)[1]
NationalityAmerican
Known forCOO of the New York Mets
Spouse(s)Valerie Goldman
Parent(s)Judy Kessler Wilpon
Fred Wilpon
RelativesSaul Katz (uncle)

Jeff and other Wilpon family members invested with Bernard Madoff's ponzi scheme that collapsed in 2008.[2] Unlike many who lost their investments, it was revealed in the Madoff firm's court case, Securities Investor Protection Corp. vs. Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (USBC SDNY No. 08-01789), that the family partnership run by Wilpon made $48 million in their dealings with the firm.[3] He is a member of the board of directors for the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington DC.

BiographyEdit

Wilpon was born to a Jewish family, the son of Judy (née Kessler) and Fred Wilpon, the co-founder of the real estate development firm Sterling Equities and majority owner of the New York Mets. He has two siblings. His sister, Robin Wilpon, is married to Phillip Wachtler, son of former Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, Sol Wachtler.[4][5] His brother, Bruce Wilpon, is a partner at Sterling Equities[6] and was married to Yuki Oshima-Wilpon, daughter of Japanese billionaire Kenshin Ōshima.[7][8] His uncle is Saul Katz. Wilpon is a graduate of Roslyn High School in Roslyn, New York.[1] He was drafted by the Montreal Expos but instead chose to go into the family business.[1] He served as chief officer of development and construction and oversaw the planning and development of Citifield Park.[1] He now serves as Chief Operating Officer of the Mets and the executive vice-president of Sterling Equities.[9]

CriticismEdit

Wilpon has been criticized by some for being too much of a meddler in the baseball operations for the New York Mets. In 2010, Joel Sherman of the New York Post wrote, "Let's give Jeff Wilpon the benefit of the doubt here for a moment. Let's say he is not short-tempered. Tone deaf. A credit seeker. An accountability deflector. A micro-manager. A second-guesser. A less-than-deep thinker. And bad at self-awareness. Fine, he's none of these things. But here is the problem: This is his perception in the industry as the Mets try yet again to fix their baseball operations department."[10]

Sherman also cited a baseball executive in regular contact with the Mets, who said, "Jeff is the problem with the organization, and he is never going to realize that. He cannot help himself. He has to be involved. He will never hire anyone who will not let him have major input. He will not hire anyone who does not run every personnel decision through him."[10] An AL executive added, "The only person with a worse reputation than Jeff Wilpon in the game is [Marlins president] David Samson."[10]

In 2009, Peter Gammons told ESPN Radio that Mets GM Omar Minaya "isn’t the General Manager. Jeff Wilpon is. Omar's the one out there to take the heat."[11]

In 2003, the team's previous partner, Nelson Doubleday, Jr., told The Star-Ledger: "Mr. Jeff Wilpon has decided that he's going to learn how to run a baseball team and take over at the end of the year… Run for the hills, boys. I think probably all those baseball people will bail... Jeff sits there by himself like he's King Tut waiting for his camel."[11]

Many commentators on the internet and in broadcast media have referred to Jeff Wilpon as "Fredo" Wilpon, after the ineffectual member of the Corleone family, Fredo Corleone, played by John Cazale in The Godfather and The Godfather Part II.[12]

In September 2014, Wilpon was named as a defendant in a lawsuit by Leigh Castergine, the first female senior vice president of ticket sales in the history of the Mets. According to the civil complaint filed by Castergine's attorney, Wilpon repeatedly disparaged her for having a child out of wedlock and then terminated her employment when she complained to human resources.[13]

Personal lifeEdit

He is married to Valerie (née Goldman) Wilpon. Their son, Bradley Wilpon, was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 2014, and has played two summers for the Newport Gulls of the NECBL.[14]

Blizzard Entertainment announced in July 2017 that Wilpon has bought ownership in the New York Excelsior, one of the first seven teams planned for the professional eSports Overwatch League.[15][16]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Yazigi, Monique (June 21, 1998). "Bringing a Son Up Right (Right Up to the Top)". The New York Times. S.O.B.'s is how his son Steven Rubenstein, 28, characterizes the 18-member breakfast club he started with Jeff Wilpon, 36, a son of Fred Wilpon, an owner of the New York Mets baseball team.
  2. ^ "Sandy Koufax among those swindled by Madoff". Sports Illustrated. February 5, 2009. Retrieved August 13, 2009.[dead link]
  3. ^ Kamalakaran, Ajay (October 21, 2009). "NY Mets owners made about $48 million in Madoff dealings". Reuters. Retrieved October 21, 2009.
  4. ^ New York Times: "Mets Are Prominent on the Madoff List, but Say They’re Fine" By RICHARD SANDOMIR February 5, 2009
  5. ^ Long Island Business News: "The son in law also rises" March 31, 2006
  6. ^ "Partners – Sterling Equities". sterlingequities.com. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  7. ^ Taylor, Craig (November 26, 2005). "We love each other Yuki Oshima-Wilpon & Bruce Wilpon". The Guardian.
  8. ^ "La casa imposible, su objetivo habitual por la calle - La multimillonaria Yuki Oshima-Wilpon busca una vivienda muy especial en las cocinas de Mónaco" (in Spanish). La Nacion. May 13, 2006.
  9. ^ Times Herald Record: "Jeff Wilpon won't rest until Amazin' mission is complete" By Michael P. Geffner March 29, 2008
  10. ^ a b c Sherman, Joel (September 19, 2010). "Mets need GM bailout". New York Post. Archived from the original on November 20, 2010. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
  11. ^ a b "Gammons: Jeff Wilpon is GM of the Mets". MetsBlog. October 15, 2009. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
  12. ^ "WILPONS ARE ON THEIR OWN". nypost.com. May 2, 2003. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  13. ^ "Civil Complaint Against Mets and Jeff Wilpon" (PDF). Retrieved September 10, 2014.
  14. ^ Greenwich Times: "Brunswick graduate Bradley Wilpon drafted by Red Sox, will play at Penn" by David Fierro July 5, 2014
  15. ^ Gartenberg, Chaim (July 12, 2017). "Blizzard announces first Overwatch League teams and owners, including Robert Kraft and Jeff Wilpon". The Verge. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  16. ^ "How the Wilpons built a winner outside the Mets". New York Post. 2018-05-09. Retrieved 2018-05-09.