Monday, July 20, 2009

Thank You Sue Burns, Largest Giants Shareholder: RIP

Sue Burns, the Giants largest shareholder (TV news report noted in the 40% range), passed away from late-stage lung cancer. She was only 58 and survived by two daughters and grandchildren, plus her mother, son-in-law, and brothers.

According to Baggarly, this was a kick in the gut to the Giants organization because of the quickness. Just on July 8th, she hosted a team party at her home and appeared well, but from what I heard on the radio, she got the diagnosis soon afterward and slipped away quickly. It as a bad coincidence that she received her diagnosis on July 10th, resulting in her missing the game that night, which happened to be the first Giants no-hitter in 33 years thrown by Jonathan Sanchez and thus first ever in AT&T Park. She held Sanchez's autographed game ball during her last days.

She was a devoted fan who wore orange all the time, apparently. It was she and her husband who were among the original investors who helped saved the Giants from moving in 1992. Her husband, Harmon Burns, was a vice president of the Franklin Templeton investment group in San Mateo, and he made his money there as that firm grew leaps and bounds (for those who are in the know, that's the Templeton of John Templeton fame who famously invested $10,000 at the depths of the Depression in low-priced stocks and who made a fortune when stocks rebounded). They bought up shares as many of the original founders sold out their shares until they were the largest shareholders (much like how Neukom built up his ownership). She inherited the full stake in the club when her husband passed away in November 2006.

Giants Thoughts

Just wanted to say Thank You to Sue and to give my deepest condolences to her family and friends. From what I gathered from the KNTV report and Baggarley's report, she was loved by all who passed through the Giants organization. She reportedly influenced the Giants to sign Bonds one more time in 2007 and he reportedly flew up to be with her one last time in the past week. Dusty Baker gave a quote and altered his flight in order to pass through SF and give a visit, though I don't recall if that was before or after she passed. But she treated everyone equally and she is being mourned by the Giants organization, top to bottom, from the management to the players to the ushers and security guards.

Just also wanted to say that all Giants fans, near and far, owe deep gratitude to the Burns family for their substantial help in keeping the Giants here. Without their financial support, the team first would have moved to Tampa Bay, and second, the ownership team could have been on shaky grounds again when other founders sold out if they did not buy up additional shares, and third, without a solid ownership team, the Giants might not have been able to get the loans necessary to finance the beautiful stadium they built in China Basin.

According to Larry Baer, in an interview on KNTV (plus reported on by Baggarley here and here), her two daughters will retain the ownership (Baggarly reports as between 30% and 40%)and nothing will change as her daughters and her son-in-law are big Giants fans too. So, in death, as in life, she keeps the Giants safe once more. May she rest in peace.

1 comment:

  1. I hadn't heard that she held on to the ball that Sanchez signed from the no hitter. That's awesome. Everything I've read about her indicated she was a very special woman....

    ReplyDelete

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