Ted Lerner and Robert Schattner, who form one of several potential baseball ownership groups working to bring a team to Washington, D.C., have met twice with National League President Chub Feeney and have asked him to become an adviser, sources said yesterday.
Feeney, who has been league president since 1970, confirmed the meeting but said he had not been asked to join the group. "They came and visited with me," he said. "I have known them both for a long time. They have not asked me to become involved. They indicated interest in getting a team. We told them that we would keep them in mind."
Sources indicated that the most recent meeting took place in the spring in New York, with the understanding that Feeney would have to leave the league office, were he to accept. He was asked: "Do you want to help get this organized?"
Schattner declined to comment and Lerner did not return phone calls.
Their efforts to acquire a major league team for the District have been more low-key than those of Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke and former baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn. Kuhn is in a group that, sources say, includes developer Oliver T. Carr and James Clark, owner of George Hyman Construction.
Although there is no major league team here, the D.C. Baseball Commission announced yesterday that it has sold 2,118 season tickets in the drive for an expansion team. Morris Siegel, commission consultant, said $1,190,006 has been deposited in escrow accounts in the 25 area banks accepting deposits in the drive.
The commission hopes to sell 10,000 tickets by July 31. "We feel confident that we are going to hit our goal," Siegel said.
There also has been an effort to bring an existing franchise to Washington. Cooke has made offers to San Francisco Giants owner Bob Lurie, who reconfirmed yesterday that he wants to keep the team in the Bay Area.
It was learned yesterday that Lerner and Schattner have pursued existing franchises, including the Pittsburgh Pirates, known to be for sale by the Galbreath family, and the Giants.
Lurie said that the last person to contact him from Washington was Cooke. "That was a month or two ago," Lurie said. Pirates President Dan Galbreath was unavailable to comment yesterday.