Former Seattle Mariners outfielder Stanley Jav-ier expects to score home runs with timberland.
Mr. Javier grew up helping his family raise cocoa beans and cattle in the Dominican Republic. And two years ago, when he retired from Major League Baseball, he founded Javier Farms to develop and manage timber plantations in his native country.
"I had gone to the playoffs with the Dodgers, the Angels, the Giants, the Phillies (and) the Mariners, among others, playing for 17 years, and that was long enough. It was important to spend more time with my family," he said.
Back in Santo Domingo, he became intrigued with timber after a golf buddy told him the local soil and climate were ideal for growing mahogany and teak.
"I began doing research and learned that because the world supply of those particular woods is limited, there is a huge demand for these, making them a terrific investment that can generate something like 15% in annual returns," Mr. Javier said. Brazil is now the main supplier of mahogany, but the wood is an endangered species there. There's no such problem in the Dominican Republic, as long as a timberland farmer gets a government permit and follows the proper procedures, Mr. Javier explained.
He's now developing a timberland ranch on 700 acres and has an option to buy another 10,000 acres. A marketing team, based in Seattle, has been talking to potential investors who can invest directly in the timberland through joint ventures.
But Mr. Javier hasn't totally given up baseball. Two years ago, he bought the Gigantes, a team in Santo Domingo, which plays winter ball. Although Mr. Javier no longer plays, his involvement appears to be helping the team score big — last year it went to the playoffs for the first time.