Clancy group pursues Paterakis, Knott Local businessmen 'on edge' of joining


Two more prominent Baltimore businessmen are considering joining Tom Clancy's bid to own a Baltimore NFL team, should the city win an expansion franchise.

Bakery owner John Paterakis and developer Henry J. Knott Jr. are considering joining the group, which is headed by Clancy, the Baltimore-born author, and James Robinson, a Baltimore business executive with interests in movie making and auto importing.

Other members of the group are Louis J. Grasmick, head of the Louis J. Grasmick Lumber Co., and ex-Colts and Hall of Famers John Unitas and John Mackey, a private consultant living in Los Angeles.

David Cohan, a Baltimore attorney working with the bid, confirmed that Paterakis and Knott are among a handful of additional people who have been approached about joining the group.

"They are on the edge, and I'll know in a couple of days," Cohan said of Paterakis and Knott.

"They have a tremendous amount of respect for Clancy and Robinson, and they are giving it serious consideration. We're trying to have the most representative group of Marylanders," Cohan said.

The two men were part of an effort to form an NFL investment group several years ago. Members of that group included Paterakis, Knott, Grasmick, semi-retired businessman Sigmund M. Hyman, advertising executive Phyllis Brotman and ex-Green Bay Packer Bart Starr.

Paterakis and Knott are politically well-connected members of Baltimore's corporate elite. Paterakis heads the Baltimore-based H&S; Bakery and Knott is developer with Henry J. Knott Co. and is the son of Henry J. Knott Sr., a prominent contractor and philanthropist.

Neither man responded to requests for comment.

The NFL repeatedly has delayed expansion, but most recently said the winning cities would be announced in the fall for play in 1995. In addition to the Clancy group, investor teams led by Leonard "Boogie" Weinglass, chairman of Joppa-based retailer Merry-Go-Round Enterprises, and Malcolm Glazer, a Florida-based investor, are competing to own a Baltimore franchise.

Glazer is the sole investor in his bid, although several of his children are aiding the effort.

Weinglass' group includes moviemaker Barry Levinson, ex-Colt Joe Washington, Merry-Go-Round president Michael Sullivan, David H. Bernstein, chairman of Duty Free International, a chain of duty-free shops; and Richard L. Pearlstone, a local developer and grandson of the late philanthropist Joseph Meyerhoff.

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