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Florence Freedom’s owner Clint Brown dies suddenly at 63; bought the team in 2004

By Erik Lake
NKyTribune reporter

Florence Freedom Owner, President and CEO Clint Brown passed away suddenly early this morning.

Brown, who lived in Edgewood, was63.

Details of his “sudden and unexpected” passing will come shortly, according to Freedom General Manager Josh Anderson.

“I don’t know what happened yet, just that he’s gone.” Anderson said this morning.

Brown and wife, Kim

An avid golfer and married to his wife, Kim, Clint Brown graduated from Indiana University’s Kelly School of Business in 1976 while working as a sales manager at American Freight from 1973-1976.

After graduation, Brown was the Vice President of Walker Research until 1986.

In 1988 Brown founded Alliance Resarch, Inc., a custom, market research firm that grew to be one of the most successful companies in the industry before the company was acquired by Catalina Marketing in 1999 and Brown’s subsequent retirement.

Brown always had a dream to own a minor league baseball team and the stars aligned brightly in 2004 when Brown bought the Freedom for $3M after former investor Chuck Hildebrant was indicted and charged after a federal investigation over bank loans he obtained to finance the team’s ballpark.

Florence Mayor Diane Whalen said the City is deeply saddened by the loss of Brown.

“We have worked hard to establish a mutually beneficial partnership between the City and the Florence Freedom,” Whalen said. “Clint’s goal was always to promote the team and the community and bring family fun to the fans.  Clint, Kim  and the entire Freedom Family are a part of our community.  We mourn the loss of a member of our ‘family,’ and pray for strength for his family and friends during this difficult time.”

Anderson said of Brown, “He bought this team in 2004 as The White Knight, if you will, and there’s a lot of people that should be very thankful for what he has done.  He meant so much not only to the front office but the entire community.  He will be greatly missed.”

Freedom manager, Dennis Pelfrey said of Brown, “The Browns are a definite pillar in the community of Florence. He created a family atmosphere for both the players and the fans here in Florence and was a great guy to be around.”

“Clint gave me my first managerial job three years ago. I wish I could express my gratitude even further to him today. He made the Freedom a great place for us all to come to work.

“He gave me a lot of trust. We would look at strategy and players to pick up. He enjoyed that.”

Details will be reported when they are available.

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