WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — The sign outside Nationals Park Monday announced the death of the 97-year-old team owner Ted Lerner.

“Obviously very sad news about the passing of Mr. Lerner,” said Brett Saunders, who lives across the street from the stadium. “He brought a championship to D.C. in 2019. Still one of the most memorable days of my life.”

The news shocked other fans.

“Oh wow. I didn’t know,” said Jon Hunter. “Anytime someone passes it’s unfortunate.”

Lerner took over the Nationals in 2006, one year after Major League Baseball returned to D.C. following the Senators moved to Texas in 1971, and became the Texas Rangers. Lerner’s Nationals captured the 2019 World Series, the first for D.C. since the Senators did it in 1924. That also happens to be the year before Lerner’s birth.

“He believed in the Washington Nationals. He wanted them to be winners,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “He was very proud to bring a World Series home to DC and be a part of revitalization of baseball in DC, which is a big thing.”

Lerner also created one of the largest private real estate development companies in the District, along with giving his time and money to help his hometown. That did not go unnoticed by fans.

“Obviously what he did for philanthropies across D.C. and charities. Everything he’s done to bring the city together,” said Saunders.

Lerner also served as an usher at the old Griffith Stadium.

He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Annette; his three children; nine grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.