Tag Archive | "Tom Clancy"

The Peter Principles (Ch. 1): So, just how did Angelos become ‘King’ of Baltimore baseball?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Peter Principles (Ch. 1): So, just how did Angelos become ‘King’ of Baltimore baseball?

Posted on 19 March 2014 by Nestor Aparicio

IT WAS HOT AS HADES in that lower Manhattan federal courtroom. Jam-packed with bidders, curiosity seekers and baseball fans, the Baltimore Orioles franchise was up for grabs on August 2, 1993, and the bidding was as steamy as the air in the room once the price began to rapidly accelerate into the stratosphere.

The fact that there was any bidding at all was somewhat surprising to Peter G. Angelos, a Baltimore attorney who had begun a power play five months earlier to purchase the Major League Baseball franchise that was being sold off via an auction nearly 200 miles away from its home on the Chesapeake Bay. In the hours leading up to the auction, Angelos managed to turn his sole competitor from a previous suspended bid for the team during June into a partner. William DeWitt Jr., a Cincinnati native whose father once owned the St. Louis Browns in the 1940s and a minority investor in the Texas Rangers, joined Angelos’ celebrity-led local group from Maryland just hours before the bidding was to begin in the sweltering Custom House. DeWitt was promised a role in the operations and management of the club.

It was an amazing coup for Angelos to pull DeWitt from being a worthy, legitimate competitor into a teammate that morning, after convincing him that he’d be involved and an influential part of the eventual winning group. It was shocking that DeWitt had pulled out because several times over the previous eight months, he was convinced that he was already the winning bidder and new owner of the Orioles.

In February 1993, after six months of lengthy, arduous negotiations on a fair price, DeWitt had entered into a deal with Orioles majority owner Eli Jacobs to buy the team for $141.3 million. Jacobs, who was in his final days of semi-liquidity and quietly on the verge of bankruptcy, didn’t have the legal authority to close the deal with DeWitt once the banks seized his assets in March. Instead, the Orioles wound up at auction five months later and suddenly Angelos – with DeWitt now shockingly a member of his ownership team – believed he would emerge victorious without breaking a sweat in the summer heat of The Big Apple.

But that afternoon, after entering the courtroom in what he believed would be a rubber-stamped win, instead he found himself embroiled in a bidding war with a stranger he never strongly considered to being a worthy foil in the fray.

Jeffrey Loria, a New York art dealer and Triple-A baseball team owner, wanted badly to be a Major League Baseball owner. Baltimore native and former NFL player Jean Fugett represented a group led by TLC Beatrice, which featured a rare minority bid for an MLB franchise on that day in New York. One bidder, Doug Jemal of Nobody Beats The Wiz electronics stores, had early interest but bowed out before the steamy auction.

That August day, the bidding began at $151.25 million, which included a “stalking fee” of $1.7 million which was originally awarded to DeWitt’s team because of his vast due diligence and legal work done months earlier when he thought he had won a deal to secure the Orioles in the spring.

George Stamas, who represented Angelos’ group during the bidding process, opened the bidding at $153 million, which was seen as a good faith gesture from the combined bid with DeWitt, which could’ve been perceived as artificially deflating the sale price by judge Cornelius Blackshear. Loria, who was a stranger to the Angelos group, immediately raised it by $100,000. Stamas barked out, “One million more – $154.1!”

And for the next 30 minutes, the bids drew north from the $150 millions into the $160s. With every bid, Loria would raise by $100,000. Stamas, on behalf of Angelos, raised it by $1 million at a time. After 13 rounds of back and forth money, Angelos had the leading bid $170 million. Fugett, who had been completely silent during the auction, asked the judge for a recess.

The request was granted and the judge headed to his chambers.

And, suddenly, it got even hotter in a blazing courtroom on a sweltering day in The Big

Comments (6)

Tags: , , , ,

Best-selling author/Orioles minority owner Clancy dies at 66

Posted on 02 October 2013 by WNST Staff

NEW YORK (AP) — Tom Clancy, whose high-tech, Cold War thrillers such as “The Hunt for Red October” and “Patriot Games” made him the most widely read and influential military novelist of his time, has died. He was 66.

Penguin Group (USA) announced that Clancy had died Tuesday in Baltimore. The publisher did not provide a cause of death.

Tall and thin, with round, sunken eyes that were often hidden by sunglasses, Clancy had said his dream had been simply to publish a book, hopefully a good one, so that he would be in the Library of Congress catalog. His dreams were answered many times over.

His novels were dependable best sellers, with his publisher estimating that worldwide sales top 100 million copies. Several, including “The Hunt for Red October,” ”Patriot Games” and “Clear and Present Danger,” were later made into blockbuster movies, with another based on his desk-jockey CIA hero, “Jack Ryan,” set for release on Christmas. Alec Baldwin, Ben Affleck and Harrison Ford were among the actors who played Ryan on screen. The upcoming movie stars Chris Pine, Keira Knightly and Kevin Costner, with Kenneth Branagh directing.

A political conservative who once referred to Ronald Reagan as “my president,” Clancy broke through commercially during a tense period of the Cold War, and with the help of Reagan himself. In 1982, he began working on “The Hunt For Red October,” basing it on a real incident in November 1975 with a Soviet missile frigate called the Storozhevoy. He sold the manuscript to the first publisher he tried, the Naval Institute Press, which had never bought original fiction.

In real life, the ship didn’t defect, but in Clancy’s book, published in 1984, the defection was a success. Someone thought enough of the book to give it to President Reagan as a Christmas gift. The president quipped at a dinner that he was losing sleep because he couldn’t put the book down — a statement Clancy later said helped put him on the New York Times best-seller list.

Clancy was admired in the military community, and appeared — though he often denied it — to have the kind of access that enabled him to intricately describe anything from surveillance to the operations of a submarine. He often played off — and sometimes anticipated — world events, as in the pre-9/11 paranoid thriller “Debt of Honor,” in which a jumbo jet destroys the U.S. Capitol during a joint meeting of Congress.

Earning million-dollar advances for his novels, he also wrote nonfiction works on the military and even ventured into video games, including the best-selling “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier,” ”Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction” and “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent.” His recent Jack Ryan novels were collaborations with Mark Greaney, including “Threat Vector” and a release scheduled for December, “Command Authority.”

As of midday Wednesday, “Command Authority” ranked No. 40 on Amazon.com’s best seller list.

Born in Baltimore on April 12, 1947 to a mailman and his wife, Clancy entered Loyola College as a physics major, but switched to English as a sophomore. He later said that he wasn’t smart enough for the rigors of science, although he clearly mastered it well enough in his fiction.

Clancy stayed close to home. He resided in rural Calvert County, Md., and in 1993 he joined a group of investors led by Baltimore attorney Peter Angelos who bought the Baltimore Orioles from businessman Eli Jacobs. Clancy also attempted to bring a NFL team to Baltimore in 1993, but he later dropped out.

Comments (0)