Clancy in the hunt to be a better owner than fan

August 04, 1993|By Jon Morgan | Jon Morgan,Staff Writer

Novelist Tom Clancy says he never has been much of a baseball fan, and was an even worse Little Leaguer.

But, he vows, he'll be a good owner.

The best-selling author, the son of a mailman who grew up in Baltimore's Northwood neighborhood, will be the second-largest shareholder in the investment group that tentatively acquired the Orioles for $173 million in bankruptcy court Monday. The lead investor is local attorney Peter G. Angelos.

The sale still needs the approval of Major League Baseball.

Clancy said he was always a bigger fan of the Baltimore Colts while growing up. He dropped an effort earlier this year to buy an NFL expansion team for Baltimore, saying he was worried about the financial viability of the sport.

As a child, he played several years with the Loch Raven Little League, which was based at Herring Run Park. His father managed the teams and Clancy played second base, usually for only a few innings, he said.

"I wasn't a very good player, but I'll be a good owner," Clancy said. "I had a pretty good glove, but I couldn't hit."

He said his wife is a bigger baseball fan, and he was glad the sale came though on their 24th wedding anniversary Monday.

"Oddly enough, the last couple of months I began studying the game and, if you understand it, you'll find it's the most tacticly complicated spectator sport there is," said Clancy, whose books are noted for their attention to military tactics and weaponry.

Buying the team, he said, is an effort to return to Baltimore some of what the community gave him as a youth.

"Call it a matter of public policy. The ownership of any sports franchise should be local. A sports team should be a living, breathing part of the community," he said.

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