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Earl Foreman, Bullets owner, head of MISL, dies at 92

Earl Foreman, president of the Virginia Squires (right) urges city leaders in 1972 to get moving if they hope to acquire ABA franchise. Mayor William Donald Schaefer (center) and Mike Storen, Kentucky Colonel general manager, listen as Foreman makes his point.
Earl Foreman, president of the Virginia Squires (right) urges city leaders in 1972 to get moving if they hope to acquire ABA franchise. Mayor William Donald Schaefer (center) and Mike Storen, Kentucky Colonel general manager, listen as Foreman makes his point. (WEYMAN SWAGGER / Baltimore Sun)

Earl Foreman, a former minority owner of the Baltimore Bullets in the 1960s who later served as the original Major Indoor Soccer League commissioner from 1978 to 1985 and in 1989, has died, his son said.

Stuart M. Foreman confirmed his father's death to the Associated Press. Foreman died Monday from natural causes in Chevy Chase, where he lived with his wife, Phyllis. He was 92.

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Foreman was inducted into the Blast Hall of Fame in 2005.

"I met Earl Foreman in 1988 when I first bought the Baltimore Blast soccer team to keep them from going to Cincinnati," Blast owner Ed Hale said. "He was the commissioner of the soccer league. Being a sports fan, I knew that he was the founder of the indoor professional soccer league with Ed Tepper.  He was the co-owner of the American Basketball Association and was part owner of the Philadelphia Flyers, Baltimore Bullets, and Virginia Squires when he drafted Julius Erving.  Needless to say, he was a legend and a true icon in sports.

"Most of all, he was my friend, along with his wife, Phyllis.  I had the honor of speaking at his 90th birthday party. I'll miss all his advice and counsel and mostly, his friendship."

Foreman also was part of an ownership group that bought the Oakland Oaks in 1969 and moved the American Basketball Association franchise to Washington for one season before relocating it to the Norfolk area, where it became the Virginia Squires and played until 1976. The team also played home games in Hampton, Roanoke and Richmond.

Foreman once owned part of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles.

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