A group of investors led by construction entrepreneurs Oliver T. Carr Jr. and James Clark is depending on former baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn to help land a major league team for Washington.
"We and Bowie have agreed that we will be a group," Carr said in the first acknowledgment that Kuhn is aligned with his group. Carr, head of the Oliver T. Carr Construction Co., said the group includes a "minimum of six people" and tentatively plans to conduct a meeting in Washington this week to discuss strategy.
"All of the people who are prospective owners of a (Washington) team have been invited to join our group. Jack Kent Cooke has clearly declined. He preferred to go about it on his own," Carr said. He added that present plans call for no one person to become a majority owner.
Although Carr would not disclose the names of any of the group's other investors, Robert Smith, president of the Charles E. Smith Companies, has been affiliated with the group.
"It seems to us that it's a community effort because we are talking about serving a region -- Virginia, Maryland and D.C," said Carr. "It seems to make sense to have a more diverse group . . . That could ultimately affect the transferability of the team. It would be less likely to be moved."
Kuhn, who was unavailable to comment, will serve as the group's spokesman and will carry out much of the group's groundwork and contact with baseball executives, Carr said.
It is uncertain what Kuhn's role would be, if the group secures a major league team. "We'll develop that as the negotiations proceed," Carr said. "It's an unfolding relationship. A lot will be determined if a team develops and on what terms.
"At this time, this group will only become an active group if Bowie is able to secure a team. The individuals will await the result of his activity," Carr said.
Meanwhile, a special meeting on expansion that baseball's long-range planning committee had planned for this week in New York has been postponed. Sources indicated that guidelines for the meeting still are being drawn and that Commissioner Peter Ueberroth wants to focus his attention on the trial in Pittsburgh that involves drug use by major league players.
Morris Siegel, consultant to the D.C. Baseball Commission, said that 9,628 season tickets have been sold to a nonexistent baseball team, meaning that $5,459,076 has been deposited in area banks. The commission hopes to sell 10,000 tickets to show baseball owners that the area possesses strong fan support.
The commission's next big push to gain funding will be a $100-a-plate breakfast on Oct. 1, at 8 a.m. at RFK Stadium.