Joan Whitney Payson loved baseball. She grew up going to the Polo Grounds and watching Willie Mays. That love affair — along with substantial wealth — brought National League baseball back to New York.
In 196o, Payson and a small group of investors (M. Donald Grant and fellow stockbrokers Frederick Trask and G. Herbert Walker) purchased the rights to a new National League expansion franchise for New York. The investment made Payson, at that time, third woman to own a major league baseball club and “also the first of her gender to purchase such an enterprise with her own funds.”