Josh Macciello says he always had big dreams.
At the moment, his dreams are the same as those of Magic Johnson, Joe Torre, Mark Cuban, Larry King and guys like that. He wants to buy the Dodgers.
What makes Macciello’s dream even more amazing is that he’s an admitted underdog in this fierce bidding war, and if he were to succeed, he would—at 36—be the youngest sports franchise owner in history after making the biggest purchase of a sports team in history.
Sources close to the deal confirm that the bid he laid out recently is about $2.2 billion for the Dodgers and the stadium. Macciello would only confirm that, “with the money I’m bidding, I could buy three sport teams.”
Editor's Note 3/15/2012: An investigation by the L.A. Weekly found that Macciello did not have the money or assets he claimed to have lined up to bid on the Dodgers. In the article, which calls Macciello "a fraud," he admits to not having the resources to make such a deal. "I have nothing," Macciello told the Weekly. "My whole financing got pulled. I have no means, nothing."
Macciello is our neighbor—a seemingly average guy who eats well-done over-easy eggs, well-done turkey bacon and well-done wheat toast every morning at, often with a co-worker or his nephew. He coaches his daughter’s softball team at and loves cramming his family into $5 photo booths for goofy family pictures.
His neighbors in the area include Studio City notables like , and the mom in Modern Family. He came into money over the past five years through gold mines in the Pacific Northwest, and through his entertainment company Armital Entertainment. ESPN and other journalists have poked and pried into his history and personal life for months trying to find out if he is for real. They could find no hoax.
“I’m not a joke, I’m out to do this, I just need to be taken seriously,” he said, having his characteristic breakfast at near . He has taken the steps of proving that he has the money, and submitting a bid. Now, he is hoping for a meeting with Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig.
“If I could get in the door, I am sure I could show them what I’m all about,” Macciello says. “I love baseball, I love the fans, I could turn this into a winning team and people will start having fun again.”
If owning the Dodgers was put to a public vote, Macciello would have a better chance. When fans hear him on the radio, they Tweet him, and he answers every one of them—sometimes nearly 1,000 a day. Another fan wrote a song about him, and even journalists who say he seems “too good to be true,” also say, “I love that guy!” (CLICK HERE to see what some say.)
He has met with former Dodgers Coach Tommy Lasorda and other notables on his way through the bidding process, but still feels very much an outsider.
So, he listens to sage advice from 81-year-old Michael Bash, president of a multimillion-dollar real estate development, Berkley Enterprises. They meet once a week at Jerry’s Deli to talk about business, and history. “This is a guy who lived through the Great Depression,” Macciello says. Bash gives business advice, but also reminds Macciello to keep family priorities in order.
His 11-year-old daughter Nicole attends The Wesley School in North Hollywood, and Macciello’s twin boys, Anthony and Joseph, 6, go to where he tries to be an active parent in a world of super-active PTA parents.
He just celebrated his 13th wedding anniversary to the woman he describes as “the one and only love of my life,” Anna Oganesyan, whom he met at Valley College.
“I was taking a class in advanced statistics on a whim, and we were chatting for about 15 minutes, and then one of her friends said, ‘Anna, you’re in the wrong class’ and you know what? She ended up staying there and taking the class even though she hates math,” he laughs. They’ve been together ever since.
“She’s my Adrienne,” says Macciello about his wife, referring to her like the wife of Rocky Balboa. “She keeps me grounded.”
Anna lost both her parents to cancer before she was 30. She worries about having the house clean when her husband brings over unexpected guests.
His mother lives in their 4,600-square-foot house on a cul-de-sac and she complains about the tree that sheds too many leaves out front. He has a bulldog named Tiger who is friendly to strangers. Macciello says he is looking for another larger house to move into, but he wants to stay in Studio City.
“My wife and I always wanted to live in Studio City, we love it here,” he explains. “It’s centrally located, it’s easy to get over to Beverly Hills, the studios and great places to eat.”
Family is so important he even has it tattooed on his right shoulder—a Joshua “family” tree with symbols, and soon a Dodger’s cap.
His house is filled with inspirational sayings on the wall, classic photos of Frank Sinatra and the Brat Pack, symbols of Buddha, and a poster of King Kong.
He has great ideas for the baseball team, but doesn’t want to get into specifics yet. He plans to build Little League parks and have batting cages in the land around the stadium.
“There doesn’t seem to be much hope right now for people,” he says. “For me, winning this is for the 99 percent, not the one percenters. I may have the money to be part of the one percent, but I’m on the side of the 99 percent.”
Macciello sighs,“I just want to be treated fairly, I just want to have my fair shot.”
Frank McCourt will make a decision on the sale of the Dodgers by April.
Macciello turns 37 in March. He is hoping he will have more than a birthday to celebrate.
For more information about him, go to: joshfordodgers.com
See an exclusive video tour of his house, click here.