Vince Naimoli, 81, Dies; Brought Major League Baseball to Tampa

Aug 31, 2019 767

BY: Richard Sandomir

Vince Naimoli, a pugnacious businessman who helped bring major league baseball to the Tampa-St. Petersburg area but whose team, the Tampa Ray Devil Rays, never had a winning season when he was the owner, died on Aug. 25 in an assisted living facility in Lutz, Fla., near Tampa. He was 81. His wife, Lenda (Hill) Naimoli, said the cause was complications of progressive supranuclear palsy, a rare brain disorder.

Mr. Naimoli (pronounced nay-MO-lee) nearly succeeded in establishing a Major League Baseball franchise in the area in 1992, when he led an attempt to buy and relocate the San Francisco Giants to what is now known as Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. But National League owners rejected the move.

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