A group of Baltimore businessmen seeking to buy the Baltimore Orioles found a new financial benefactor last night in Ken Pollock, a Pennsylvanian involved in coal mining and trucking interests, who agreed to put up $6 million for the purchase.
A resident of Wikes-Barre, Pollock told the group he would match current Oriole owner Jerold C. Hoffberger's $4 million loan offer (at 6 percent interest over the next five years) and furnish the businessmen another $2 million in working capital.
Pollock's offer apparently negates the need for the group to continue negotiations with Hoffberger, who has demanded operational control of the club in return for his proffered loan to aid the group in meeting his $12 million sale price. "That's fine with me," Hoffberger reportedly said.
The Pollock proposal also boosts the businessmen's standing in the eyes of American League officials who had worried about the group's ability to raise operating capital after scraping together the sales price.
According to a member of the businessmen's group, Pollock's offer "strengthened our presentation to the league."
The proposed deal, the member said, "also alleviates the Jerry Hoffberger problem." He was referring to the growing schism that has developed within the group over what role Hoffberger should play.
Pollock, who together with former Boston Red Sox general manager Dick O'Connell sought to buy the Oakland A's for Washington two years ago, is not interested in Washington this time, according to a group member.
"This is strictly a Baltimore deal," the source said.
Plans to borrow up to $500,000 a year from the city and state for each of the next five years to help meet operating costs will still be pursued, a source said.