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What do professional baseball players do with the millions they rack up during their careers? Some, like Maurice “Mo” Vaughn, formerly a New York Mets first baseman (after a longer career with the Red Sux…er, I mean Sox), enter the real estate business. Vaughn’s company (which he formed with his attorney, and fellow managing director Eugene Schneur), Omni New York, develops and revitalizes properties and neighborhoods, working with community groups on social improvements as well as providing affordable housing.

Lately, it’s made a big splash in the distressed real estate market. Yesterday, the Real Deal reported that the firm won an auction for 14 rent-stabilized troubled apartment buildings in the Bronx that held a loan balance of nearly $24 million. Omni initially purchased the notes last year, a deal that was touted by city officials and housing advocates alike. The properties were deemed abandoned by former owner Ocelot Capital Group, and were in such a detrimental state that the NYC Housing Preservation and Development department put all but three of them on the list of worst-maintained buildings in the city. So last year Vaughn agreed to shell out $1 million in emergency repairs, spending about half of that by midyear 2009.

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