PEBA Founder and Borealis Owner John Rodriguez Passes Away

Updated: November 16, 2009

NLN - The Clear Voice of Aurora, Colorado  NLN REPORT

Posted Wednesday, March 23, 2011 @ 7:34 AM
Ray D. Enzé reporting

The Associated Press is reporting that John Rodriguez Sr., founder of the Planetary Extreme Baseball Alliance and owner of the Aurora Borealis since the team’s inception, has passed away this morning.  We will have more on this story as soon as further details become available.

Update Posted Wednesday, March 23, 2011 @ 8:16 AM
Ray D. Enzé reporting

John Rodriguez, Sr. died this morning at the University of Colorado Hospital.  He was 88 years old.

The owner of the Aurora Borealis was transported from his home in Cherry Creek to UCH early this morning after suffering a massive stroke.  He went into cardiac arrest shortly after arriving at the hospital.  Doctors were unable to revive Rodriguez and pronounced him dead at 6:02 AM.

It’s believed that several members of Rodriguez’s family were with him when he passed away, including eldest son John Rodriguez, Jr.  Junior has spent an increasing amount of time with his father since Rodriguez’s earlier stroke back in September of 2009.

An omnipresent icon in Denver since the PEBA’s founding, Rodriguez had been much less visible since his first stroke.  By many accounts, day-to-day management of the Borealis was being handled by younger son Christopher.  How much authority Rodriguez retained over PEBA-related decisions has been unclear.  Despite rumors to the contrary, John, Jr. has repeatedly insisted that he has not been acting as league Commissioner in absentia and that his father still called the shots.

The impact of Rodriguez’s passing on the Borealis is unclear.  As previously reported by NLN, the line of ownership succession is murky at best.  There has been no public statement as to who precisely is next in line to lead the team.  Most observers believe the role will ultimately be handed to Christopher, who has maintained a much more hands-on role with the organization since its inception than brother John, Jr.  Whether the parameters for transference of power are spelled out in Rodriguez’s will is yet to be determined.

Culturally, the city of Denver has lost one of its most important contributors.  Rodriguez had gifted millions of dollars to the city over the years in support of food and fitness programs for underprivileged children.  He was also a patron of the arts.  His donations enabled The Denver Center for the Performing Arts to continue operating after the organization declared bankruptcy in 2008.

NLN ran a 3-part series on John Rodriguez, Sr. back in 2009.  You can view Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 in our online archives.