Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Tri-City Uncertain

Sports Notes
By Gil Gilmore

[Tri-City Herald, Nov. 12, 1953]
The plan to buy the Tri-City Braves from Dick Richards and the rest of the present owners is still hanging fire and it looks as if no decision will be reached until next month.
The Western International League directors are not too happy about Richards' plan to leap-frog around the Northwest with the franchise but they seem to be at just as much of a loss to know what his plans are as the people in the Tri-Cities.
They have given him until the Phoenix meeting to lay it on the line.
The Booster Club and Athletic Association's effort to buy the club seems to have reached an impasse. The association is willing to pay $10,000 for the franchise but they want considerable water squeezed out of the price of the equipment about 50 per cent to be exact.
Richards still talks of moving to Eugene which always brings up the question: “If he can't make a go of it here, what makes him think Eugene will be any better?”
Eugene won't be two years from now although it may have an initial success. Richards knows that and
if he is allowed to move there, he will then try to sell to the people of that city. Richards has said that selling the franchise is his first thought. Moving elsewhere is secondary.
He has said he wants to get out of the “small towns” and get into higher league classification. He intends to look around at the Phoenix meeting to see if he can “line up some deals.”
So in reality, Richards is like an auctioneer with two bidders and he is trying to drive up the price. The Tri-City potential buyers, however, are holding their ground.
The new league directors also have to make a decision and one they view with some unpleasantness. According to the arrangement with the Athletic Association, the Tri-City Baseball Club (Richards and Company) must give the association first chance to buy if the franchise is up for sale.
Also according to the arrangement, if an offer is made and refused, it is up to the league directors to arbitrate the difference. That is probably the major reason why the association took over the negotiating with Richards instead of leaving it up the money-raising end of the combination, the Booster Club, to do the dickering.
The Booster Club has no such agreement and any offer they might make could be refused by Richards without the offer ever being brought before the league.
The league directors looked blank when the question of what is a fair price for a club was put to them the last time. I wonder what their reaction will be now.

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