Magic Johnson – Being a major league athlete -- even a superstar major league athlete -- is no guarantee of success at major league team ownership. As one of the new owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers, though, basketball great Magic Johnson is going to give it a shot. Here are a few of his colleagues who made the crossover, for better or worse:
Connie Mack – The "Tall Tactician" owned part or all of the Philadelphia A's from the team's founding in 1901 until 1954, when he sold the team to Arnold Johnson. Before his ownership stint, Connie Mack had an 11-year career as a catcher in the National League. Thanks to his 50 years of managing the A's -- and two years managing the Pirates in the 1890s -- he holds major league managing records for games won and lost.
George Halas – Though far from a superstar, George Halas played in 12 Major League Baseball games in 1919. The next year, he joined the Decatur Staleys football team. In 1921, he bought the squad and moved it to Chicago, where it became the Bears. For several years, "Papa Bear" was everything -- owner, player, coach, manager and ticket-seller -- and stayed on as coach long after his playing days ended. His family still controls the team.
Rogers Hornsby – The Hall of Fame hitter bought a portion of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1925 and became the team's manager. At the end of 1926, fresh off a world championship, he became embroiled in a contract dispute with owner Sam Breadon and was traded to the Giants. The National League president said Hornsby couldn't own stock in one team while playing for another, and Hornsby was forced to sell.
Jerry Richardson – Though the Carolina Panthers owner had a short NFL career, it was a memorable one. As a Baltimore Colt, he caught a touchdown pass in the 1959 NFL championship game, the Colts' second straight title. And then, upset with his contract, he walked away to open a fast-food restaurant named Hardee's. More than 30 years later, a millionaire many times over, he bought into the NFL.
Mario Lemieux – In 1999, the hockey Hall of Famer was the bankrupt Pittsburgh Penguins' biggest creditor. Mario Lemieux turned the situation to his advantage, buying the team, keeping it in Pittsburgh and returning to play for it until 2006, when he retired. Thanks to an influx of good players, especially Sidney Crosby, the team won a Stanley Cup in 2009.
Wayne Gretsky – Fellow NHL star Wayne Gretzky has had a rougher ride than his old rival Lemieux. After the Great One became a part-owner of the Phoenix Coyotes in 2001, the team struggled in the standings -- even more after Gretzky became coach in 2005. Amid financial turmoil, he stepped down as coach and owner in 2009.
Michael Jordan – Greatest of all time? Maybe as a player -- six championship rings and all that -- but as the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, Jordan has had to watch his team go from a playoff berth in 2010 to a 7-43 record this season. He recently released a statement saying he's not thinking of selling the club.
Cal Ripken Jr. – It's a bit of a cheat -- Cal Ripken Jr. doesn't own any Major League teams -- but the renowned former Oriole, known for his robust work ethic and his consecutive games streak, oversees three Minor League teams: the Aberdeen (Maryland) IronBirds, the Augusta (Georgia) GreenJackets and the Charlotte (Florida) Stone Crabs.
Nolan Ryan – The greatest strikeout pitcher of all time, with seven no-hitters and 324 wins to his credit, became the owner of the Texas Rangers in 2010 after serving two years as team president. The club has won two straight American League pennants and is a widely touted playoff favorite in 2012.