By Anthony Paradiso
Last November, Steve Cohen purchased the New York Mets for $2.4 billion from the Wilpon family, who had owned the franchise since 2002. Cohen outbid former New York Yankee All-Star player Alex Rodriguez and fiancée Jennifer Lopez. (In the July issue of WestView News, Hannah Reimann wrote that Steve and Alexandra Cohen were George Capsis’ “new neighbors on Perry Street.”)
Steve Cohen was born in Great Neck, Long Island, in 1956. His father was a dress manufacturer in Manhattan’s garment district and his mother was a piano teacher. In 1978, Steve graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in economics and immediately went to work on Wall Street. He found success as a stock market trader and was able to set up his own business about fourteen years later. Today, Cohen is the CEO of Point 72 Ventures, a venture capital fund.
At his introductory press conference after purchasing the Mets, Cohen recalled his dad taking him to his first Mets game in 1963 when the team still played at the Polo Grounds. Back then, they were called the “Amazin’ Mets” and their manager was the “Old Perfesser,” Casey Stengel. They were pretty bad until about 1969; then they won the World Series, with players like Tom Seaver who tragically passed away in August.
Cohen made it clear to Mets fans just how committed he is to the franchise. His exact words were, “I’m not in this for a quick fix, I really want to build a sustainable franchise.” Remarkably, Cohen has doubled the team’s payroll from $81 million to $184 million, putting the Mets right behind the Yankees for the third-highest payroll in Major League Baseball. He has not only made his presence clear by increasing the payroll and signing players, but has also engaged with the fans on Twitter. He showed that he cares about the Mets’ stadium employees when he paid them $500 per month during the pandemic offseason.
In January, the Mets acquired shortstop Francisco Lindor and starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco in a trade with the Cleveland Indians. Carrasco is a very good starting pitcher who has plenty of experience, and Lindor is one of the best shortstops in baseball and the type of talent that the Mets really needed.
Heading into the 2021 MLB season, fans will be eager to see if Marcus Stroman can become a factor in a rotation that has two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob DeGrom on it. In an interview with the CBS Fantasy Baseball Podcast in January, Stroman said, “I feel like Cohen’s going to do some big things.” With Lindor and Carrasco added to the mix, the Mets should be ready to do some more winning.
The Mets have not won a World Series title since 1986, while their crosstown rivals, the Yankees, have won five since then. Maybe Steve Cohen can help the Mets become “amazin” again and bring a championship to Queens.
I received this quote from the Mets press people last night…
“New York fans have high expectations and I want to exceed them. I want an exceptional team. I want a team that’s built to be great every year. I don’t just want to get into the playoffs — I want a championship. When I really thought about this, I could make millions of people happy, and what an incredible opportunity that is. It’s really about building something great, building something for the fans, winning.” – Steve Cohen