Dayton Daily News Library

Marge Schott
-- owner of Cincinnati Reds 1984-1998

    Cincinnati auto dealer Marge Schott became a limited partner in the Reds organization in 1981 and became majority owner in 1984.
  In the first years of her ownership Schott was credited with improving the team and its image. She spurned private boxes and sat out in the stands to watch games, and she brought her St. Bernard, Schottzie, onto to the field to give luck to the players.
   However, in the 1990s Schott's public image was increasingly tarnished by a series of controversial comments. She was twice suspended from Baseball, both times for her insensitive remarks, and by the end of her second suspension in 1998 she agreed to sell her interest in the team.
  Born Aug. 18, 1928, Margaret Unnewehr was the daughter of Edward and Charlotte Unnewehr. She married Charles J. Schott in 1952 and when he died in 1968 she took over his business enterprises. Her chief business was a General Motors auto dealership in Cincinnati.

Chronology:

August 1991 - Tim Sabo, the Cincinnati Reds' chief financial officer, is fired. Sabo subsequently files a $2.5 million lawsuit against majority owner Marge Schott claiming he was fired in part because he opposed Schott's racially discriminatory hiring.
Nov. 18, 1991 - Sabo's lawsuit is dismissed. But Hank Aaron, a senior vice president with the Atlanta Braves, calls for the commissioner's office to investigate Schott's statements.
Nov. 20, 1991 - Schott meets for three hours with Cincinnati minority and Jewishleaders, who were upset with her use of racial slurs and offensive remarks revealed in a December 1991 deposition. The deposition also revealed that she owned a Nazi swastika armband. Schott apologizes during the meeting and issuesa public apology afterward.
Nov. 24, 1991 - Aaron calls for Schott's suspension.
Feb. 3, 1993 -- Schott is suspended for one year by Baseball's Executive council for using racial and ethnic slurs. She is also fined $25,000 and ordered to attend multicultural training programs.
Nov. 1, 1993 -- Her suspension reduced to six months, Schott returns to the Reds.
May 20, 1994 -- Schott apologizes for saying,"only fruits wear earrings."
July 28, 1994 -- Schott turns down an effort to bring a minor league team to Dayton.
April 1, 1996 -- After umpire John McSherry dies of a heart attack on opening day, forcing postponement of the game, Schott said: "I feel cheated."
April 2, 1996 -- The day after McSherrys death, Schott took flowers that had been sent to her on Opening Day, wrote out a new card and sent the flowers to the umpires room.
May 5, 1996 -- In a television interview on ESPN, Schott saidof Adolph Hitler, "everybody knows he was good at the beginning, but he just went too far."
May 20, 1996 -- In a Sports Illustrated story, Scott says she doesn't like it when Asian children "come here . . . and stay so long and then outdo our kids."
June 12, 1996 -- Schott agrees to give up daily control of the Reds through 1998
Jan. 9, 1997 -- Officials from Major League Baseball said they are investigating accusations that Schott used the names of Reds employees to falsify sales and attain quotas at her Chevrolet-Geo auto dealership.
Feb 6, 1997 -- Schott agrees to sell her car dealership.
Oct. 23, 1998 -- Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig confirmed that Schott agreed to sell her majority stake in the Reds.

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File created: 6-18-1996
Updated: 10-22-1998