Tri-City Fans Purchase Franchise
KENNEWICK, Wash., Nov. 29—A local group announced an agreement today to buy Tri-City Braves in a move to keep the Western International League Baseball Club in the Kennewick-Richland-Pasco area.
The Tri-City Athletic Association reported it had agreed to purchase the Braves for an undisclosed sum, dependent on raising additional money to complete the deal.
President Harold Matheson said the association and the Tri-City Baseball Booster Club would conduct a drive for the needed money. The booster club, at last count, had raised $12,000.
The association, which owns the ball park at Kennewick and had previous had a minority interest in the W.I.L. Club, held an option to buy in case of a proposal to move the Braves from Tri-City.
It went into action when owners proposed to transfer the franchise to Eugene, Ore., on the ground that they were losing money here.
Dick Richards, general manager, is the majority stockholder. The Tri-City Herald reported he originally had asked $42,000 for the club equipment and franchise.
The Herald said the athletic association got an agreement by dealing with Orin (Babe) Hollingbery of Yakima, a minority stockholder, after negotiations with Richarda broke down.
Ball Club Purchase Agreement Reported Confirmed
Detail Negotiations Will Move Rapidly
[Tri-City Herald, Nov. 30, 1952]
Confirmation of an agreement for purchasing the Tri-City Braves was received Saturday by the Tri-City Athletic Association, it was learned Saturday.
The confirmation came from Orin (Babe) Hollingbery, who owns part interest in the club and who took over negotiations when the association failed to reach an agreement with Dick Richards, general manager and majority stockholder.
Hollingbery's telegram means that the Tri-Cities will have baseball here next year if they are able to raise the rest of the money needed to buy the club.
The sale price is expected to be disclosed this week.
Hollingbery's telegram to Harold Matheson, president of the association came after he and other members of the board had reached a verbal agreement with Hollingbery.
Hollingbery had had the go-ahead from all but two of the present stockholders. One was Vern Johnson, who owns one share in the club. The other was not named.
Apparently Hollingbery received both okays.
With the confirmation, detailed negotiations are expected to go along at a rapid rate. The association has but ten days before they must send a representative to the major-minor league meeting in Phoenix.
The problem now will be to raise the additional money for purchasing the club. At last accounts, the Tri-City Booster club had $12,000 but the money has still been coming in.
Most of the officials of the association were gone Saturday to the Washington-Washington State game and could not be reached for comment.
Strangely enough, it was football that played a role in the successful negotiation for purchase of the baseball club.
Hollingbery, former Washington State coach, was once the mentor for Matheson and Howard Beste, another member of the Association board.
This tie probably speeded negotiations.