International Tennis Hall of Famer Billie Jean King and partner Ilana Kloss have become members of the Los Angeles Dodgers' ownership group, the team announced Thursday.
The Dodgers plan to introduce the tennis icon King and Kloss during a press conference at Dodger Stadium on Friday.
The 74-year-old King, who won 12 Grand Slam singles titles and 39 overall in a legendary career on and off the court, grew up as a Dodgers fan in Long Beach, Calif., and expressed her excitement to become minority owners along with her partner Kloss.
"I'm totally going to pinch myself ... I'm pinching myself already,'" King told the Los Angeles Times Thursday from her New York residence. "When you're born and raised a Southern California kid, you dream your dreams of coming back, but how could I have ever dreamed of something like this? Joining the Dodgers is my life coming full circle.'"
In a statement released by the Dodgers, King praised the organization for being a franchise that demonstrated inclusion, from breaking the color barrier with Jackie Robinson and the team's many foreign player additions through the years.
"[Dodger Owner & Chairman] Mark Walter and the entire Dodger organization are a first-class operation that have proven to be leaders in sports on and off the field of play," she said. "We share a commitment to equality and inclusion, including the LGBTQ community, and we hope to further expand the team's efforts in those areas as we move forward together."
"We're excited and proud to welcome two trailblazing athletes, social advocates and businesswomen, Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss, to our ownership group," said Walter. "Just like Billie Jean and Ilana, the Dodger franchise has a history of and commitment to breaking barriers, inclusion and winning, and we're looking forward to them continuing to promote these attributes within our organization."
In addition to joining the Guggenheim Baseball Management Group headed by Walter and including Lakers legend Magic Johnson, King and Kloss also hope to become members of the LA Sparks' ownership group, pending WNBA approval.
King's younger brother, Randy Moffitt, pitched 12 major-league seasons, 10 of them with the rival San Francisco Giants from 1972-81. He also pitched for the Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays and went 43-52 with a 3.65 ERA and 96 saves.