Although the D.C. Baseball Commission yesterday canceled a planned announcement of season ticket sales, it was learned that at least 1,727 have been sold. That means $952,209 is in escrow accounts at 22 banks around the area, according to a source.
The commission decided against releasing numbers because the total available does not include all the tickets actually sold, Commission Chairman Frank Smith said. Some banks have not yet passed on information on the escrow accounts they have opened, Smith said.
"In the last 24 hours or so, in trying to get the numbers together, we decided we wouldn't be able to do it today without a lot more phoning," Smith said. He said an official total will be announced next week.
The commission is hoping to sell 10,000 season tickets by the end of July; the money for those 81-game packages will be kept in interest-bearing escrow accounts at banks and returned if no team is obtained. Baseball's owners are to meet in Anaheim, Calif., in August, when expansion likely will be discussed.
In another development, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) has authored a letter enlisting support for an expansion baseball team in Washington that he will circulate among congressmen for signatures. He plans to send the letter to Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth on June 10.
Four other area congressmen have signed the letter, according to Jim Boyle, Wolf's press secretary. They are Michael Barnes (D-Md.), Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Walter Fauntroy (D.C. delegate) and Stan Parris (R-Va.).
While the D.C. Baseball Commission "welcomes any help," Smith said, "We have been told by the (Ueberroth) commissioner's office in no uncertain terms that they would not be impressed by it (a petition such as Wolf's) . . . I have told him I thought the cause might be better served by a season ticket drive on the Hill and he is helping in that regard."