On May 21, an Up & Down With Baltimore column on this page...

UP and DOWN with Baltimore

May 21, 1991|By Mike Bowler

On May 21, an Up & Down With Baltimore column on this page quoted a story in the Wall Street Journal, stating that Eli Jacobs, the owner of the Baltimore Orioles, "sank very little of his own money into the $70 million purchase of the O's."

Since that time the Washington Post has reported that Jacobs in fact put $35 million of his own capital into the Orioles.

The Evening Sun is happy to make this clarification.

LAST Wednesday, the day Queen Elizabeth visited Memorial Stadium, the Wall Street Journal weighed in with the most detailed examination so far of the complex business empire of Orioles owner Eli Jacobs.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

Written by staff reporters Jill Abramson and Laurie P. Cohen, the story paints Jacobs as a man who went on a business binge in the 1980s, a man who got rich by means of heavily leveraged buyouts. Two of Jacobs' largest holdings are falling apart in the cold reality of the '90s, according to the Journal, which quotes a "political acquaintance" as saying that Jacobs purchased the Orioles to get "the important people of the country and the world to know who he is."

Jacobs is quoted as being "strictly neutral" on the subject of National League expansion into Washington, which of course would mean Jacobs' friends in high places would no longer need to turn their limos northward to see and be seen at major-league baseball. The Journal's sources, however, say he is lobbying to prevent baseball's coming to Washington.

Jacobs sank very little of his own money into the $70 million purchase of the O's, says the Journal. But near the end of the story, there is a sentence about the "new ballpark he [Jacobs] is building for the Orioles . . ."

Wherever he is, Edward Bennett Williams must have chuckled over that one!

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