Matheson Sets Monday Date For Baseball Club Meet
Will Refuse Office With Association
[Tri City Herald, Dec. 14, 1952]
The general meeting of Tri-City Athletic association stockholders and Booster club members has been set for 8 p.m. Monday at the Kennewick City Hall.
Several developments on the move to buy the Tri-City Braves will be made at the meeting:
1. Harold Matheson, president of the association whose term expires then, will not accept the office again.
2. Some other office holders will also drop out. Among these is Bob Phillip, member of the board. 3. The present owners, headed by Orin (Babe) Hollingbery of Yakima will announce their decision concerning the Athletic Association's latest offer. Matheson said the offer, believe to be $26,000, was again refused by Hollingbery Friday.
4. Mike Cronin, chairman of the Booster Club board, also may resign.
5. A move will be made to elect Steve Johnson, of Connell as president of the association.
The series of developments follow Cronin's statements last week that he would not release any of the money collected by the Booster club for the purchase of association stock.
Cronin reiterated that stand Saturday and added that he did not have the power to do so under the resolution passed by the members of the organization.
Matheson said he did not want fight with Mike and the rift was due to a misunderstanding.
“All the association is interested in is getting enough income to pay off the bonds. If we can get together there is the possibility we may be able to do that,” he said.
“All anyone is interested in is keeping baseball here. We don't care who owns the club, just so we have baseball.”
Matheson also explained the association's reasons for taking over the negotiations. First of all, the association has an option to buy the club and the present owners have to deal with the as bondholders association before they can bargain with an outside party. In the case of the Bolster club, the present owners are under no obligation to deal with them.
Matheson also pointed out that if the association takes over the franchise, it will not have to pay a league fee of $5,000 because the association is already part-owner of the club. However, the Booster club will have to pay the league fee because they will be new owners.
The desire to avoid a conflict with Cronin is not the only reason why Matheson will not again accept office. Although he has been doing the large share of the work to keep the ball club here, he is not one of the heavier stockholders.
It was the heavy stockholders that Matheson named to negotiate with Hollingbery. They are Les Babcock, Harry Owens, Fred Huber and Steve Johnson who represents the Connell interests.
Both Matheson and Philip said they would like to see Johnson elected president.
Matheson urged that everyone with an interest in the club attend the meeting. He said he would like a large crowd so everyone can keep up with developments.
“And if we get the club Monday,” he said, “we will have it for what it is worth.”