By Hal McCoy
Dayton Daily News
SARASOTA, Fla. | As a gigantic Cincinnati Reds fan from the time his father took him to games at old Crosley Field and Riverfront Stadium, Oakwood's Steve Cobb never imagined he would own his own piece of the rock.
That has come to pass.
Cobb, 45, is part of the investors/ownership group put together by Cincinnati Reds majority owner/CEO Bob Castellini, purchasing one unit for approximately $6.5 million. He becomes one of about a dozen new investors owning a unit.
Cobb is President/CEO of the Henny Penny Corporation, with headquarters in Eaton. The firm is famous world-wide for the manufacture of restaurant equipment, particularly pressure fryers and rotisseries for quick-service restaurants and super markets.
Rotisserie fits Cobb perfectly because, as he says, "I have always been a huge, huge Reds fan. But even I never dreamed some day I would be part of ownership, never once crossed my mind."
His father, Jack, retired from Henny Penny, took Steve to games at old Crosley Field, "And I was at the 1972 World Series in Riverfront (which the Reds lost to Oakland in seven games.
"I was at the 1988 All-Star game in Riverfront Stadium," Cobb added. "I was there the night Pete Rose got his 4,192nd hit to pass Ty Cobb. I was at the 1999 playoff game against the New York Mets (a one-game playoff for the National League wild card spot, a game the Reds lost to the Mets and Al Leiter, 5-0)."
Cobb attended Bowling Green State University, "And I can remember my roommate and I driving to Opening Day in a snowstorm and driving back the same day," he said.
Cobb laughed when reached by telephone. Until now, his name had not been revealed as an investor in the Reds and he said, "I was OK today until I found out I was about to become a public figure."
He said he intends to attend as many games as possible and plans to visit the team's spring training camp later this month for a few days.
Cobb said his hook-up isn't with Bob Castellini, "But I know Phil Castellini (Bob's son and the team's Senior Director of Baseball Operations)."
New majority owners: Robert H. Castellini, W. Joseph Williams Jr., Thomas L. Williams.
Holdover owners/investors: Carl H. Lindner, Carl H. Lindner III, Mrs. Louise Nippert, William J. Reik, George L. Strike.
New owners/investors: EMK Corporation, LLC (Steve Pope of Dayton), Larry Sheakley, Jeffrey L. Wyler, Harry J., Fath, Jeffrey L. Gendell, HKR Baseball, LLC, Ronald L. Sargent, John H. Wyant, George H. Vincent of Queen City Diamond, LLC, Heading for Home, LLC.