With bidding to open soon for ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers, one name that surfaced this week as a potential buyer for the team is a sentimental favorite — the former owner of the Dodgers, Peter O’Malley, the Los Angeles Times reports.
O’Malley made his interest known earlier this week, saying, “I want to reconnect the team and the community.” The team is going up for sale after the latest owner, Frank McCourt, agreed with Major League Baseball on a plan to wrest the team from McCourt’s control.
The story reports: “The O’Malley family owned the Dodgers for nearly half a century. Peter’s father, Walter, moved them from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. And many Dodgers fans connect O’Malley’s sale of the team to Fox in 1998 with the start of the franchise’s decline.”
McCourt is expected to receive more than $1 billion from the eventual buyer, in exchange for the team, stadium and media rights.
O’Malley has said in the past that he was not interested in owning the team, but he has had a change of heart.
Said O’Malley: "The health of the organization has deteriorated in the last 12 months. The standing of the organization in the community has deteriorated. I am confident I can restore it to respectability quicker, sooner and probably better than, or at least as well as, anyone else."
Fox has denied being interested in owning the team again, but is considered a contender nonetheless, as previously reported. Also mentioned as a potential bidder is Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks.
Speculation about who might buy the team has been wide-ranging, with foreign investors and athlete-fronted ownership groups high on the list. In the latter category, names that have surfaced include two former Dodgers, Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser, along with former Lakers star Magic Johnson.
Another possible buyer is AEG, which has been working to bring an NFL team to Los Angeles.