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Mo Vaughn: real estate tycoon

Feb 18, 2010, 4:20 PM EDT

Vaughn Mets.jpgMo Vaughn used to spend his offseasons here in Columbus, Ohio.  Our paths crossed in a very, very vague way about seven or eight years ago as one of his investments — a bar he opened called “Flo Nitelife” — crashed and burned almost as soon as it opened. I represented a creditor, there ended up being no money in the joint anyway, and everyone decided that there was no sense in everyone suing everyone else.

I took two things away from that experience: (1) the certainty that one should never, ever go into the bar business unless one is in tight with both the booze distributors and the code enforcers, because you’re roadkill if you’re not; and (2) the feeling that, while Mo Vaughn may not have been the best bar owner on the planet, he was a pretty nice guy. I mean even my client who was left holding the bag on some fixtures that weren’t paid for swore that Vaughn was a great dude. Stuff just happens, ya know?

All of which makes me happy to see that Vaughn appears to have turned his business fortunes around, this time in New York:

These days he’s got it–not as the American League’s former MVP but as
the managing director of one of the city’s best-regarded and most
active buyers and managers of affordable housing. Along the way, Mr.
Vaughn and company have earned a place as one of the city’s top choices
for turning around distressed residential properties.

Vaughn may not have panned out as the Mets’ first baseman, but he’s doing much better in the Big Apple his second time around.

  1. Charles Gates - Feb 18, 2010 at 4:30 PM

    ESPN Outside the Lines did a segment on him in August 2007. ESPN portrayed Mo exactly as you described him.
    A write up can be found here:

  2. Jack Meoffer - Feb 18, 2010 at 6:48 PM

    Let’s now whitewash (no pun intended) Mo. He signed a huge contrat with the Angels, injured his ankle, then let himself get fatter than Rosie O’Donnell ever dreamed of and did nothing to get back in shape. Then he took the Mets for the rest of his contract. So he is working hard now and turns around bomb shells of apartments. Good for him. But as a player, he was a typical athlete. Signed a huge contract and then did nothing after that. Another of the many reasons why I won’t be suckered into paying for a MLB ticket (then parking, food, etc…). It’s legalized robbery. Thank god I discovered there was life after the baseball strikes. I found a slew of other hobbies and things to do and never looked back. I’ll spend my hard earned money elsewhere where I will get more value for the dollar.

  3. Rob - Feb 18, 2010 at 7:10 PM

    You took a post about Mo Vaughn’s business success and made it about why you won’t pay for baseball tickets? You know, your time is worth something too. Perhaps reading baseball blogs isn’t for you.

  4. Will - Feb 18, 2010 at 7:12 PM

    I found a slew of other hobbies and things to do and never looked back.

    Yes, it’s very clear you’re not holding a grudge about baseball and its costs.

  5. peteinfla - Feb 19, 2010 at 12:02 AM

    I couldn’t agree with Rob more. Who cares if you watch MLB, however if you truly didn’t care, you wouldn’t be reading or posting on this site. This story is about someone who has not only suceeded in business, but is helping the city by turning around distressed residential properties. Good for him! In a world where we too often hear only the bad about athletes, it’s nice to hear something nice. This is bigger than baseball or you!

  6. Old Gator - Feb 19, 2010 at 1:05 AM

    Maybe what he should do now is buy the fucking Mutts and turn them around, too.
    Or, perhaps he should team with Lenny Dykstra to form up his financial and mortgage lending division, kinda like a latterday “Mantle Men and Namath Women.”

  7. Osmodious - Feb 21, 2010 at 7:42 PM

    My brother graduated from Seton Hall with Vaughn, and while they didn’t travel in exactly the same circles, he ran into him at a few parties and said he was “not the typical jock”, in that he was willing to talk with people outside his entourage. They talked baseball and Vaughn had said he wanted to play for a NY team (which he finally did, with the Mets). My brother did say that the guy could put away the food, but that he was surprisingly realistic about his future, and realized that he couldn’t rely on baseball as being the only thing for him…so, it looks like he’s translated his sports success into another career. Good for him, I’m glad…it’s always nice to hear about a guy who had the kind of talent he did thinking about other things than his sport…

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