By Compiled by Mark Hyman, Milton Kent and Don Markus and Peter Schmuck
Oct 05, 1993 | 3:00 AM
PETER G. ANGELOS
Why he's involved: He's a keen supporter of local ownership, and began thinking seriously about buying the Orioles when Eli S. Jacobs' financial problems became public last year. Early partners in the bid were novelist Tom Clancy and local contractor Henry J. Knott Sr.
Baseball goals: "In any given year, you can't set out and say you're going to win the championship. You've got to be realistic. But winning that title is always the goal."
Investment goals: "Profit margins are secondary. The fans should be satisfied that they have a strong and vibrant organization pursuing a team that is absolutely and totally capable of reaching the top."
Favorite baseball memory: "Glorious All-Star Week. First it was the party at the Inner Harbor, followed by the wonderful game at our new ballpark. We were the talk of the country."
WILLIAM P. BEATSON JR.
Occupation: Private real-estate developer.
Why he's involved: A Baltimore native and lifelong Orioles fan, Beatson called Angelos' attorney, George Stamas, to ask about joining the group.
Baseball goals: "Under the guidance of Peter Angelos and Bill DeWitt that the great Baltimore Orioles tradition continues."
Investment goals: He's hopeful of some return, "but that's not the primary reason for my involvement."
Favorite baseball memory: "Two memories stand out for me: One is attending the first Orioles game with my father in 1954 at Memorial Stadium. The second would be the first game played at Camden Yards."
DAVID H. BERNSTEIN
Occupation: Chairman, Duty Free International. The company owns retail stores in airports and on the Canadian-American border, among other places, that sell everything from liquor to perfume.
Why he's involved: "My motivation is to be part of local ownership of the Orioles and to see a Baltimore institution owned by Baltimoreans." Bernstein was among about a half-dozen investors who joined the Angelos venture last May along with Leonard "Boogie" Weinglass. Bernstein is also a member of the Weinglass-led group pursuing an NFL franchise for Baltimore. Weinglass since has left the baseball group to concentrate on his football goals.
Baseball goals: To win a World Series "as soon as possible," Bernstein says. "We'll do our best to make the Orioles the No. 1 team in baseball."
Investment goals: "At this point, I really don't have any."
Baseball memory: "I guess my favorites are from the years Frank and Brooks Robinson played together and the Orioles also had Jim Palmer. That first Orioles World Series [in 1966] was so exciting."
ROGER R. BLUNT
Occupation: Contractor and owner of Essex Construction in Oxon Hill.
Why he's involved: He was invited by Angelos, though he can't recall exactly when the invitation came. He didn't know Angelos before this process began, but "knew of him." Blunt is one of the first African-American investors in a professional sports franchise and recognizes the historical importance, but does not see himself as a symbol. "I'm hopeful of bringing ownership diversity to the sport and to the game. . . . I don't think Peter needed any initiative [to pursue a minority]."
Baseball goals: He wants the team to remain competitive.
Investment goals: "All of the people involved are members of thcommunity, and they wanted to make sure that baseball remains viable and in the area. . . . I think the money is safe."
Favorite baseball memory: None, though he considers himself a baseball fan.
EDWARD J. BRUSH
Residence: Howard County
Occupation: President of the Columbia-based Fountainhead Title Group, Maryland's largest such company that handles real-estate settlements.
Why he's involved: He said he had started to become interested in May, when the Jacobs-William DeWitt sale appeared to crumble and Jacobs moved toward bankruptcy. He had met Angelos 15 or 20 years ago and wrote to him to express his interest in being part of a local effort to purchase the Orioles. Angelos contacted him and welcomed his help.
Baseball goals: "Obviously, we want the team to be competitive, but we accomplished one of our goals in keeping ownership in town. . . . I think you'll see a much more active management, and I don't think we'll be your typical absentee owners. I mean, we're not going to get into pitching changes and things like that, but I think this group has the potential to be unlike anything you've seen in the last decade or two."
Investment goals: "I did not go into this assuming that I was going to lose money, but I also didn't go into it thinking that this could be run like you run a widget factory. I consider myself as a trustee to an asset. I don't think we own the Orioles. I think the people of Baltimore do."
Favorite baseball memory: He didn't have one, but waxed rhapsodic on the need to keep the Orioles under local control. Baseball in Baltimore is more than a game. It's an event. We don't have the same ways of getting together that we used to. If I'm right, in the future, the Orioles will be one of the major ways that the community gets together."
Residence: Calvert County
Occupation: Novelist. Clancy's list of techno-thrillers includes "The Hunt for Red October," "Patriot Games," and "Without Remorse."
Why he's involved: When this year began, Clancy was immersed in his pursuit of an NFL team with no idea about bidding for the Orioles. He met with Angelos at the Centre Club to discuss the football effort, but Angelos preferred to talk about a bid for the Orioles. Clancy eventually was won over and became a major investor.
Baseball goals: "I think the Orioles really have all the pieces in place. It's just a matter of keeping them all healthy, flowing in the same direction. They're a lot closer this year than the numbers would indicate."
Investment goals: "I expect them to make money."
Favorite baseball memory: "Luke Appling hitting a home run at the age of 74 [in an old-timers' game in Washington]. If you can come up with a better sports moment than that, I'll buy you a beer."
JOHN H. CLASTER
Residence: Baltimore County
Occupation: President, Claster Television Inc. The Timonium-based company distributes a number of TV programs, including "Romper Room" and "The New Archies."
Why he's involved: "It's sort of a boyhood dream, an opportunity to be involved in something I grew up with. When I was 9 years old, the Orioles came back to Baltimore. My family has had tickets ever since." Claster was recruited into the DeWitt group by Dudley Taft, a Cincinnati businessman who since has left the ownership group.
Baseball goals: "To keep playing solid baseball."
Investment goals: "I don't want to lose money, but the driving force is simply the opportunity to be involved in something like the Orioles."
Favorite baseball memory: "The 1966 World Series. I went to every game. That was really a thrill. I remember the Orioles setting the Dodgers down for the last two-plus games. It was just amazing . . . when [Dave] McNally jumped into Brooks' [Robinson's] arms. Fantastic memories."
WILLIAM O. DeWITT JR.
Occupation: President, Reynolds, DeWitt & Co., an investment company that has interests in a wide range of businesses, from oil and gas exploration to fast-food restaurants.
Why he's involved: DeWitt has a long history of involvement in major-league baseball. His father was an owner and team executive with clubs in Cincinnati, Detroit and St. Louis. Until recently, DeWitt and new Orioles partners Mercer Reynolds and Robert Castellini each owned 3 percent of the Texas Rangers. They've been looking to buy a larger stake in a baseball team for several years. The Orioles opportunity arose when former owner Eli S. Jacobs, beset by financial problems, was forced to sell the team. Representatives of Jacobs contacted DeWitt in August 1992.
Baseball goals: "I have high hopes the Orioles will be competitive and hopefully bring a championship to the city of Baltimore."
Investment goals: "As I've said about my Rangers investment, you don't go in with the objective of making a lot of money, but you don't want to lose money either. The short answer: We would hope to get some return; we don't think it will be a very big rate of return."
Baseball memory: His father's team, the St. Louis Browns, used the midget Eddie Gaedel as a pinch hitter, and Gaedel wore young DeWitt's uniform.
JACK V. DUNN IV
Occupation: Executive vice president, Forensic Technologies International, a litigation support company.
Why he's involved: He has family ties to the Orioles dating back to 1907, when great-grandfather Jack Dunn Sr. was manager-owner of the team. That association, which included helping run the Orioles farm team in Miami during summer of 1972, ended when his father, Jack Dunn III, died in 1987. He met Peter Angelos through George Stamas, a lifelong friend. "I was the only one in my family who hadn't been involved, and I thought I'd never get that opportunity again to pass it on to my children. Mr. Angelos gave me that opportunity."
Baseball goals: "To stay in Baltimore and win championships."
Investment goals: "It's not a dollars investment. It's a family business for me. It's an honor."
Favorite baseball memory: "The 1966 World Series. Had to be the No. 1 thrill."
STEPHEN A. GEPPI
Residence: Hunt Valley
Occupation: President and chief executive officer, Diamond Comic Distributors, largest distributor of comics in the United States.
Why he's involved: "I've loved the Orioles all my life. And to think you'd have the opportunity to buy a portion of a baseball team you grew up with is incredible to me." Geppi is one of the most recent additions to the Angelos group, having joined in July. He was having dinner at the Camden Club, the ballpark restaurant, when he met Wayne Gioioso, a local real-estate developer and friend of Angelos. Gioioso made the introductions, and Geppi was in.
Baseball goals: "Maybe I am the eternal optimist or a prejudiced owner. But I honestly believe the Orioles are one of the most formidable teams in baseball because of their youth. There are so many young guys coming up."
Investment goals: "It's a lot of money for a sports team. But every time someone has paid a record price for a baseball team, it hasn't been a record for long. We're in the '90s, and the numbers get bigger every year."
Favorite baseball memory: "I was there the day Frank hit one out. We watched the ball disappear in left -- and didn't know for sure it went out of the stadium. Then the announcement: 'That ball hit by Frank Robinson is the first home run hit completely out of Memorial Stadium.' The place rocked."
WAYNE R. GIOIOSO SR.
Residence: Glen Arm
Occupation: Owner, Gioioso Investments, a real-estate investment company that buys, develops and operates rental properties.
Why he's involved: He's a longtime friend of Angelos' who was involved in the decision to organize the group that purchased the team. Gioioso arranged the initial meeting with Orioles president Larry Lucchino to discuss the possible purchase.
Baseball goals: "When we discussed it, the idea was to give something back . . . to own the team and keep it local."
Investment goals: "We did not set out to make money. Hopefully, we will make money out of it, but the goal was to be the best possible team with local ownership."
Favorite baseball memory: "I played for the Shrine of Sacred Heart in Mount Washington, and I hit a home run into the reservoir, which isn't there any more. I remember hitting that home run and fantasizing about being a player like Boog Powell."
HENRY J. KNOTT SR.
Occupation: Chairman of Arundel Corp. construction company.
Why he's involved: "Because Pete was in it, and he's done a great job." Knott and Angelos are longtime friends, and Knott was one of the first investors to join the local effort.
Baseball goals: "I know as much about baseball as you know about going to the moon."
Investment goals: "If it works out all right, fine. If it doesn't, that's fine, too. I've lost money before."
Favorite baseball memory: "When I was a young kid, Oriole Park was on 29th Street. A few of us would hop the fence. They'd usually catch one, but three or four of us would see the game."
Residence: Los Angeles
Why he's involved: He was interested in getting local ownership for the Orioles.
Baseball goals: He wants to field the best team possible and create the best climate for the fans. Investment goals: He declined to comment.
Favorite baseball memory: When the Orioles first came to town, it was a citywide holiday. "Baltimore had arrived. We were in the big leagues now."
Occupation: ABC-TV sportscaster.
Why he's involved: "Our reason was we love the Orioles, and we thought local ownership was vital. The most frequent thing we hear from fans when we go to games is not 'Congratulations,' but 'Thank you.' " McKay said Baltimore advertising executive Hal Donofrio served the link to Angelos.
Baseball goals: "The goal every year has to be to win the World Series. In this day of comparative parity, where teams like Minnesota and Atlanta go from last place to first place . . . it looks more and more as if the Orioles are a predictable contender."
Investment goals: He says he's not as concerned with turning a profit as with producing a winner.
Favorite baseball memory: "I have two or three favorite memories. My oldest memory would be going to the old Shibe Park in Philadelphia when I was about 11 years old and screwing up courage to ask Connie Mack for his autograph. The most recent memory was [Sunday], when about 10,000 kids converged on the Orioles dugout after the game and my grandson was one of the first to get there. He nearly got crushed, but when I spoke to him later, he said, 'Guess what I got?' I said, 'Did you get a bat?' 'Better,' he said, 'I got Sherman Obando's cap.' I also saw Willie Mays' catch. I was there. I wasn't one of the 12 million who said he was there."
HARVEY M. "BUD" MEYERHOFF
Occupation: Chairman of Magna Holdings, an investment company; former chairman, U.S. Holocaust Memorial.
Why he's involved: "I wanted to make sure the team ended up in Baltimore with Baltimore representation in the ownership." Meyerhoff joined the DeWitt group after he received an invitation from local banker H. Furlong Baldwin.
Baseball goals: "I'd like them to be a winner, hopefully a division championship and World Series winner."
Investment goals: "None."
Favorite baseball memory: "One of the sights and sounds I remember, but not vividly, the first game the Orioles played when they no longer were the St. Louis Browns. We were original ticket holders and have been seat holders since the first season."
Occupation: Chairman, Reynolds, DeWitt & Co.
Why he's involved: He's a longtime business partner of William DeWitt.
Baseball goals: "That the Orioles win the World Series, right?"
Investment goals: "That it's a sound investment that provides an adequate return."
Baseball memory: During the postseason, when Johnny Bench was batting, a pitchout was called, but the pitcher threw a strike to strike him out. "Something I'll always remember."
Occupation: Professional tennis player.
Why she's involved: "I love the Orioles, and it was a good investment." Like Jim McKay, Shriver was introduced to Angelos through Baltimore advertising executive Hal Donofrio.
Baseball goals: None.
Investment goals: "Sports marketing has always been an interest of mine, and in the next couple of years, I can develop more of that interest."
Favorite baseball memory: None.
GEORGE P. STAMAS
Why he's involved: A friend of Angelos and Angelos' lawyer, Stamas has been working on the Orioles deal from its earliest stages. He says the idea of owning a piece of the team appealed to him because, "I'm a Baltimorean, a fan and I'm really dedicated to the city."
Baseball goals: "Clearly, to produce a winner. But also to continue the Orioles tradition."
Investment goals: "My [share] is just an honorarium. I'm just proud to be one of the fellows who helped to put it together."
Favorite baseball memory: "When I was 7 years old, my father hosted a banquet in town for Gus Triandos, Milt Pappas and Billy Loes. Mickey Mantle came and autographed a ball for me."
Why he's involved: He's a business partner of DeWitt. Baseball goals: "To see the team do well, which means the investment will do well."
Investment goals: Declined to comment.
Favorite baseball memory: "Meeting Ralph Branca at the 1990 World Series. There were a lot of famous people, like Henry Aaron, and there was this guy with a terrific personality. I asked Bobby Valentine who he was. And he said, 'That's the guy who gave up The Shot Heard 'Round the World.' "
W.J. WILLIAMS JR., THOMAS WILLIAMS
Ages: W.J., 50; Thomas, 36
Occupation: Owners, North American Properties, commercial real-estate brokers.
Why they're involved: The Williams brothers come from a family of baseball investors. Their father, W.J. Sr., was an owner of the Cincinnati Reds for many years. They are close friends of DeWitt.
Baseball goals: "Whatever happens, we'll enjoy it," Thomas Williams said.
Investment goals: "I would expect that it should be a decent return on investment. It's well-structured in Baltimore, unlike some other cities," Thomas Williams said.
Favorite baseball memory: Thomas Williams said: "I remember going to spring training down in Tampa, Fla., as a youth every spring. It was the era of the Big Red Machine, so it was time spent watching players like Bench, Rose, Morgan and Perez."