The Chicago White Sox Board of Directors satisfied by a personal appeal from edward DeBartolo Sr., reaffirmed tonight the sale of the American League team to the Ohio businessman for $20 million.
DeBartolo, who won approval of the board two weeks ago, made an appearance before the board and pledged to keep the team in Chicago. He also predicted the "open minor differences" with Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn would be resolved.
The board's unanimous decision was announced by Andrew McKenna, one of the 12 directors, and the man most responsible for screening the various offers for the team.
Formal approval of the deal still must be forthcoming from the team's shareholders, McKenna added. The offer is expected to be placed before the shareholders in the next few weeks.
At a news conference following the decision, DeBartolo said, "It' pleasure to be in Chicago and to be reassured by the fine directors of the Chicago White Sox" that the purchase would go through.
"We love the city. The club will remain in Chicago," DeBartolo said. "We hope to settle the few diferences we have" with the AL owners who reportedly objected to the sale because they feared DeBartolo would become an "absentee owner," he added.
DeBartolo said the absentee ownership issue would not be a problem because the "complete management" of the team would be based in Chicago. However, since the sale has not been consummated, he refused to say whom he would appoint to management positions.
"The club will never be moved under our ownership," DeBartolo said. He also said he would be willing to include that stipulation in the sale agreement if Kuhn and the AL owners insist. However, he noted that any move of the franchise would require the approval of a majority of AL owners anyway.