Owner Miles Wolff
Miles Wolff, the Can-Am League commissioner, founded the first modern independent league when six cities in the Upper Midwest and Canada began play in the Northern League in 1993. Under his leadership the Northern League grew to 18 teams by 2002. He is currently also commissioner of the American Association, a 13-team independent league located in the midwest United States. Wolff served as the commissioner of the Northeast League from 2003-2004, and commissioner of the Central League from 2002-2005.
Wolff was recently selected as the 79th most important person in baseball history by John Thorn and Alan Schwarz in the eighth edition of Total Baseball: The Ultimate Baseball Encyclopedia. Total Baseball was launched in 1989 and is the most compelling and exhaustive reference series ever devoted to America's pastime. Aside from Thorn and Schwarz, Phil Birnbaum, Bill Deane, Rob Neyer, Donald Dewey, Nicholas Acocella, and Peter Wayner all contributed to the most current edition.
He was selected as the one of the best owners in sports by ESPN 25, a history of the network. Written by Charles Hirshberg, the publication celebrates ESPN's silver anniversary and includes lists of best sports quotes, trades, draft-picks, nicknames, uniforms and much more. In addition to Wolff's #8 ranking , the Top Ten Best Owners List includes four Major League Baseball owners, three National Football League owners and two National Basketball Association owners.
Wolff entered baseball in 1971. His first job was general manager of the Atlanta Braves Double-A team in Savannah, Ga., where he was named The Sporting News Class AA Executive of the Year. Later he was general manager for teams in Anderson, S.C., and Jacksonville, Fla. He has also served as the play-by-play announcer for the Triple-A Richmond (Va.) Braves for one year.
In 1980, Wolff turned his attention to ownership. He purchased a Carolina League franchise and re-started the Durham (N.C.) Bulls. The team enjoyed tremendous local success initially. Ten years and one Hollywood film later, the Bulls became a national phenomenon.
Wolff has owned other professional baseball teams in Butte, MT, Asheville, NC, Utica, NY, Quebec City, QC and Pulaski, VA. He currently operates the Kansas City Royals Appalachian League affiliate in Burlington, NC. He also once owned the Raleigh (N.C) IceCaps hockey team. For 18 years he was president and publisher of Baseball America, the trade publication of professional baseball.
Wolff has written two books, Season of the Owl (1980), a novel about minor league baseball, and Lunch at the 5 & 10 (1970), an account of the 1960 Greensboro sit-ins by black students at the Woolworth's eatery. He is also the co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball (1997).
Upon graduating from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in liberal arts, Wolff earned a master's degree in southern history at the University of Virginia. He served active duty as a supply officer in the U.S. Navy from 1967-70 on the USS Charles P. Cecil (DD-835) and USS Puget Sound (AD-38).