Bill Murray, Veecks buying Joliet Slammers

Mike Veeck tells Joliet committee they can expect to see Murray at Slammers games

Actor Bill Murray watches a baseball game between the Miami Marlins and the Chicago Cubs, Saturday, April 29, 2023, in Miami.

Actor Bill Murray will be part of the new group buying majority ownership in the Joliet Slammers minor league baseball team.

Murray will be a partner with Mike Veeck and his son William Night Train Veeck, who will own the largest interest in the new ownership group, according to a presentation made the Joliet City Council Stadium Committee on Monday.

All three have roots in Chicago with the Veecks having strong connections to the White Sox, once owned by Mike’s late father, Bill Veeck. Both Veecks also worked in the front office for the White Sox.

Speculation that the group would buy the Slammers came out last week. But the presentation at Joliet City Hall confirmed it.

The connection to Chicago was a motivation in buying into the Slammers, Mike Veeck told the committee.

Mike Veeck (left) and his son, William Night Train Veeck, make a presentation Monday  to the Joliet City Council Stadium Committee on their plans as future owners of the Joliet Slammers. Nov. 6, 2023.

“I said to Bill [Murray] one day, ‘We’re getting old, and I really would like to go home,” Mike Veeck said. “I love Chicago.”

The two Veecks were at the committee meeting. Murray was not, but Veeck said he would be at Slammers games.

“Bill attends,” Veeck said. “He is not an absentee. One of the great things about Bill is that he’s accessible.”

Mike Veeck and Murray were owners of the St. Paul Saints until selling their interest in the past year.

They also have been involved as owners with other minor league teams.

The committee gave its recommendation of approval for the purchase, which will go to the full City Council for approval on Tuesday.

The Joliet Slammers play their home games at Duly Health and Care Field. Jan. 21, 2023.

City approval is needed for a sale of 50% or more ownership of the team. Joliet has no ownership of the Slammers, but the city does own Duly Health and Care Field, and Joliet approves the team that plays there.

The Slammers also manage the stadium.

The Veeck-Murray group is buying 75% ownership of the Slammers.

Current majority owner Nick Semaca and a business partner will retain 25% ownership.

Semaca has been an owner of the team for 11 years.

“We feel real good about what we’ve been able to do,” Semaca told the committee. “But we know that there’s so much more that can be done.”