The greatest stain on the history of a proud franchise was officially dissolved Monday, when U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross signed a final decree ending the Dodgers’ time in his court.
The bankruptcy cases of the Dodgers and related entities “are hereby closed,” Gross wrote in an order that ended the team’s stay in bankruptcy court at 995 days.
Gross signed the order as the Dodgers flew over the Pacific Ocean en route to Australia for Saturday’s season opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Frank McCourt, the Dodgers’ former owner, took the team into bankruptcy on June 27, 2011, after Commissioner Bud Selig rejected a proposed television contract that would have served as McCourt’s financial lifeline.
After Gross ruled that he would not allow McCourt to turn the bankruptcy proceedings “into a trial on the commissioner,” McCourt agreed to sell the team — with the court, not Selig, having final authority to approve the sale.
On March 27, 2012, McCourt sold the Dodgers for $2 billion — a record sale price for a North American sports franchise — to Guggenheim Baseball Management, a group led by Mark Walter, Stan Kasten and Magic Johnson.
The sale closed May 1, 2012. Since then, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court had continued to oversee payments to creditors and disputes regarding claims.