The latest chapter in the Lerner family’s history began with the purchase of the Washington Nationals Baseball Club in 2006, fulfilling the lifelong dream of Ted Lerner to bring the national pastime back to Washington. The family applies the same commitment to high quality that is the hallmark of their award-winning real estate developments to their stewardship of the franchise. Working closely with the District of Columbia, they played a key role in the construction of Nationals Park, a state-of-the-art ballpark that was the first major professional sports stadium to be certified under LEED® (LEED Silver). Likewise, the Lerners took the long view in rebuilding the franchise – overhauling the minor league system and steadily elevating the team into a perennial contender that is now one of the elite teams in Major League Baseball. Under Lerner family ownership, the team’s farm system went from the worst in baseball in 2007 to being ranked No. 1 by Baseball America by the end of 2011. The Nationals won the NL East Division in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2017. In 2019 the Nationals would come back from a season starting record of 19-31 to eventually win their first NL pennant, as well as their first ever World Series championship.
Through the team’s community relations and the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, the family has also demonstrated its commitment to the people and neighborhoods of the Washington area, most notably by partnering with the District to build the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy – a unique, world-class facility that provides inner city youth with the opportunity to develop their baseball skills while fostering their academic and social development.
As the official charitable arm of the Washington Nationals, Nationals Philanthropies is a new entity that replaces the Dream Foundation. Building on the success of the foundation’s first decade in Washington, we aspire to an even bolder, more ambitious philanthropic vision that continues to align with the work of the Youth Baseball Academy while building an enhanced and cohesive platform for civic engagement that extends far beyond the Academy walls.