Jerold C. Hoffberger, board chairman of the Baltimore Orioles, said yesterday he has has conversations with a wealthy Pennsylvania businessman who has expressed interest in buying the Orioles, or another club.
Hoffberger said there have been no formal negotiations with Ken Pollack of Hemlock Creek, and no formal offer has been made for the Orioles, who likely would be moved to Washington, according to a story in yesterday's Baltimore Sun.
Pollack expressed interest last summer in buying a baseball club for Washington. He could not be reached yesterday because of a death in his family.
"I have known Mr. Pollack for many, many years," Hoffberger said. "He likes baseball and would like to buy a baseball club. There as been no offer (for the Orioles), but I would entertain an offer if the price is right."
Hoffberger would not say what the right price might be, but the Sun quoted unidentified sources as saying $12 million was the price tag.
Pollack has made money in strip mining and apparently would have little trouble in meeting the asking price, according to the Sun.
Pollack is associated with Dick O'Connell, the former general manager of the Boston Red Sox, who made a bid for the Boston club last year.
The Orioles have a lease to play in Memorial Stadium through 1980, but the club could leave a year early if it notifies the city by June 30.
Hoffberger has made no secret in recent years of his willingness to sell the Orioles. Reports of the club's possible sale have grown stronger in recent months along with Carling Brewing Co.'s financial difficulties.
Hoffberger was president of National Brewing Co for 28 years until it was merged with the Carling Brewing Co. in 1975. He became president, chief executive officer and board chairman of Carling National.
The firm was taken over by a holding company earlier this year and the Sun said Pabst Brewing Co. may may eventually take control.
Hoffberger almost sold the Orioles to Bill Veeck, who now runs the White Sox, but called off the deal in June, 1975. The Sun said Hoffberger felt Veek did'nt have adequate capital.