Nelson Doubleday Jr. was born July 20th 1933 in Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York. He is the grandson of Frank Doubleday who founded the Doubleday Publishing Company & the son of Nelson Sr. who built the business into a mass market powerhouse.
Doubleday Jr. grew up mostly in Long Island & was an avid baseball fan rooting for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Nelson Jr. attended Green vale School on Long Island, Deerfield Academy & Princeton University where he earned a degree in economics. Doubleday played football & hockey at Princeton then served in the US Air Force. In the early seventies he was an investor in the New York Islanders hockey club with his Country Club pal John Pickett.
In 1978 he became president of the Doubleday Company and the business reported sales of $350 million at the time he bought into the New York Mets Baseball Club.
In 1980 Doubleday posted 80% of the record $21.1 million to purchase the New York Mets from the Joan Whitney Payson family. Fred Wilpon & City Investing Corp. were the other partners. At the time the Mets were at rock bottom & in last place. He had a lot to do with the turn around of the organization, which came quickly, as the Mets were competing by 1984 & won a World Championship by 1986.
By 1985 the Doubleday Company was not making much money & he shocked the business world by selling the Company for nearly $500 million. Doubleday Jr. always kept out of the lime light & was behind the baseball scenes, letting GM Frank Cashen run the show.
In 2002 he sold his portion of the Mets to Wilpon for a reported $135 million.
Doubleday passed away at his home in Locust Valley, New York on June 17th 2015, he was 81 years old.
The Mets said in a statement: “We were saddened to hear the news of the passing of Nelson Doubleday Jr. Nelson had a love of baseball and the Mets.
On behalf of everyone at the organization, we send our condolences and sympathies to his family.”
1986 Mets Ron Darling & Keith Hernandez paid tribute to Doubleday on their Mets broadcast as the news broke.