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Red Sox Stakeholder Lists Whackadoo Play Palace for $17M

This kooky, cringe-worthy mansion, listed by hedge-fund-millionaire-turned-sports-baron Jeffrey Vinik for $17M—there's only one other mansion in the region priced that high, by the way—has all the amenities a committee of fifth-grade boys would include in their dream home. A McDonald's Play Place–style slide? Check. A dedicated video game den? Let's make that Star Wars–themed. Should they decide to keep the interior as it is, the next owner of this 19,000-square-foot Boston-area fantasyland will either be the coolest parent ever or another great candidate for armchair psychoanalysis.

One look at the staircases, which are plastered in a phantasmagoric array of whirligig metal rods and what look to be bowling balls, and it's clear that Vinik is a student of the '90s school of kids' design; think the colorful geometric focus of the retail chain Zany Brainy or that late Chuck E. Cheese's knockoff, Discovery Zone. This style has since ceded ground to a softer, more, ah, organic look, but word has it that Vinik's sleepover-ready Weston, Mass., estate is on the chopping block for a more pedestrian reason: although the man is still a minority owner of the Boston Red Sox, he wants to be closer to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the N.H.L. franchise he bought in 2010.

Turning a multimillion-dollar dwelling into a literal plaything isn't the only strange real-estate decision Vinik is known for. In September, he paid $4M in cash for a waterfront mansion in Sarasota—not far from the Vinik family's three South Tampa Bay properties—just to promptly tear it down and begin building a new home in its place. No word yet on whether it will have its own ball pit.

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