A copy of the general partnership agreement between the two co-owners of the San Francisco Giants shows at least two ways the ownership can be changed if one of them wants to sell his half share of the National League club.
The issue has been raised because one of the partners, Bud Herseth, has announced he wants to sell his half of the financially troubled club, leaving partner Bob Lurie with the other half.
The partnership agreement, some details of which were made available to The Washington Post, provides that one partner must give the other first-option to buy out the other before selling to a third party. The option runs for 30 days.
Another section of the agreement is one on which some New York investors are planning their hopes for buying the Giants and moving them to Washington.
The group of investors, headed by 30-year-old Emil Bernard, expects to buy the Giants with $11 million. $5.5 million of it being offered to Herseth for his share.
Under the agreement, Lurie would have 90 days to buy out Herseth at Herseth's asking price. If Lurie does not buy out Herseth during that time, the agreement says, Lurie is "obligated to sell his interest" to Herseth. Herseth, in turn, is "obligated to buy" Lurie out at the price he asked for his share, according to the agreement.
If such were to occur, Herseth could sell the club to others - if the National League approved. Such approval can be hard to obtain and, even with league approval, there would be no absolute guarantee the club would be moved.
If the NL were to sanction a move - considered unlikley as long as the American League Oakland A's future home base is uncertain - the city of San Francisco undoubtedly would file suit to stop a move.
Lurie has consistently and firmly said the Giants will not be moved and reitereted that position again yesterday amid West Coast rumors the Giants were Washington bound.
The Bernard group's lawyer, Richard Tinkham has been authorized by Herseth to find a buyer for Herseth's share. The group's option to buy expires Jan. 15 and Bernard is tying together what he hopes will be the final preliminary steps needed before making Herseth a cash offer.
Bernard and Tinkham meet this morning with the D.C. Armory Board, which runs RFK Stadium. Bernard hopes to sign a memorandum of understanding for the future rental of the stadium. The understanding would be conditional on NL approval of a purchase and transfer of the Giants.