Most people who recognize William DeWitt Jr. will recognize him because he is both the CEO and the Chairman of the St. Louis Cardinals. However, it is important to note that DeWitt’s business interests extend beyond his MLB franchise.
1. Born and Raised in St. Louis, MO
Perhaps unsurprisingly, DeWitt was both born and raised in St. Louis, MO, meaning that the St. Louis Cardinals are his hometown team. It is interesting to note that St. Louis is one of a very small number of independent cities that can be found outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia, with the other two being Baltimore, MD and Carson City, NV. As a result, St. Louis hasn’t been a part of St. Louis County since the 19th century.
2. Son of William DeWitt Sr.
DeWitt is the son of William DeWitt Sr. In short, William DeWitt Sr. was a St. Louis native who spent more than six decades working in the MLB. However, while he spent some time working for the St. Louis Cardinals, he never had an ownership stake in the team. Instead, William DeWitt Sr. had ownership stakes in various teams such as the St. Louis Browns and the Cincinnati Reds at various points in time.
3. Father of William DeWitt III
In total, DeWitt and his wife Katharine Cramer DeWitt have had four children – Katie, William, Andrew, and Margot. Some people might recognize William DeWitt III because he is the current President of the St. Louis Cardinals, having served in both marketing and operational positions beforehand. Moreover, some people might recognize Andrew DeWitt because he is the founder of Dewey’s Pizza, having become interested in the pizza business when he was pursuing a career in music in Seattle.
4. Spent Some Time As a Batboy
DeWitt has had a relationship with professional baseball since his childhood. After all, when he was still a child, he served as the batboy for the St. Louis Browns. In fact, when the little person Eddie Gaedel served as a pinch hitter for the St. Louis Browns on August 19 of 1951, he did so while wearing DeWitt’s jersey.
5. Went Into Investment
For his education, DeWitt studied economics at Yale University and business administration at Harvard University. Upon graduation, he went into the field of investing, with the result that he winded up co-founding Reynolds, DeWitt & Co. in 1979 with Mercer Reynolds. This is one of the ways that DeWitt is involved with other businesses besides the St. Louis Cardinals.
6. Involved with Arby’s
For example, DeWitt is involved with Arby’s because of Reynolds, DeWitt & Co. However, this isn’t because the investment firm has an ownership stake in Arby’s. Instead, this is because the investment firm owns dozens and dozens of Arby’s franchises, which make for tens of millions of dollars in value.
7. Involved with the United States Playing Card Company
Likewise, Reynolds, DeWitt & Co. has been involved with the United States Playing Card Company, which has been producing playing cards plus various playing card-related products since the late 19th century. Famously, the United States Playing Card Company was what inspired Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi to move the company in a new direction that would lead to its current status in the video game industry. Supposedly, he was shocked by the humble nature of the United States Playing Card Company’s office when he visited it, which was very noticeable because said company was the leading manufacturer of playing cards in those times. Due to this, Hiroshi Yamauchi realized the limited profit potential of playing cards, thus convincing him to start looking into other gaming-related products for further revenue streams.
8. Had a Business Relationship with George W. Bush
It is interesting to note that DeWitt had a business relationship with George W. Bush, which was followed by a political relationship when Bush became the 43rd President of the United States. In short, one of DeWitt’s companies called Spectrum 7 bought out the oil and gas exploration firm Arbusto Energy, which had been started up by Bush. Moreover, DeWitt helped Bush assemble the group of investors who winded up buying the Texas Rangers. Later on, DeWitt was named to the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board while his wife Kathy was named to the National Endowment for the Arts in 2003.
9. His Front Office Hacked Into the Houston Astros’ Internal Network
In 2015, investigators uncovered evidence suggesting that people working at the St. Louis Cardinals’ front office hacked into an internal network belonging to the Houston Astros. Said internal network contained not just special databases maintained by the team but also discussions on sensitive matters such as trades and scouting reports. On the whole, the incident was a real groundbreaker because it was the first time that hacking had been used in a case of corporate espionage in professional sports.
10. One of the Most Powerful Figures in the MLB
Over the course of his career, DeWitt has become involved with the MLB in various ways. Combined with his leadership of what has been a very successful MLB franchise, he has managed to become one of the most powerful figures in the MLB, so much so that he has been named its most powerful team owner. This is in spite of the bruising impact of the Houston Astros incident, which speaks volumes about the kind of reputation that DeWitt has managed to build up.