Has there been a more successful professional sports ownership partnership in BC history than Jake Kerr and Jeff Mooney? Considering at one time the Vancouver Canadians’ demise and iconic Nat Bailey Stadium’s demolition seemed imminent, what these two business partners have accomplished in the turnaround since is positively stunning.

From 2007 to 2023, the two long-time co-owners of the Canadians both saved and then elevated professional baseball in Vancouver to the point where the C’s are now one of North America’s model franchises in all of minor league baseball.

Born and raised in Vancouver, Jake fell in love with baseball at 1950s Vancouver Mounties games. Jeff grew up in Winnipeg following the Winnipeg Goldeyes and moved to Vancouver in 1970. Both were successful businessmen—Jake in lumber, Jeff with A&W restaurants—when they first met in 1982 through the Young President’s Organization. They partnered to buy the struggling C’s in 2007 ‘on a whim,’ but quickly learned they needed help. Andy Dunn came on a two-week contract and stayed on as C’s president for 15 years and counting.

In that time, Jake and Jeff invested millions into the ball club and refurbishing Nat Bailey Stadium. Taking in a ‘Nooner at the Nat’ remains one of the quintessential Vancouver experiences. Attendance doubled with records set almost annually. In 2011, they negotiated affiliation with the Toronto Blue Jays and the C’s promptly won four Northwest League championships (2011-13, 2017).

In 2013, they received the John H. Johnson President’s Award for the top organization in Minor League Baseball, the first Canadian team to win this award. Today, the C’s stand as Canada’s last remaining minor league affiliated team and are thriving.

Jake and Jeff also launched the Vancouver Canadians Foundation, which fundraises for underprivileged children and provides post-secondary scholarships, and the Vancouver Canadians Baseball League, which allows thousands of kids to play baseball at Nat Bailey each summer.

Written and researched by Jason Beck, Curator of the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

To read more on the careers of Jake and Jeff Mooney, please see the August 2023 Curator’s Corner article here: https://bcsportshall.com/curator-corner/jake-kerr-jeff-mooney-a-business-partnership-made-in-baseball-heaven-2023-inductee-spotlight/