Throughout the 1950s and '60s, Dave Cohn was a successful and well-connected Seattle businessman. In fact, his company, Consolidated Restaurants, operates some of the city's favorite eateries, including the Metropolitan Grill. Cohn was also a member of of the University of Washington's Board of Regents, served on numerous civic committees and was involved in efforts to bring Major League Baseball and the National Football League to Seattle. For a time, it appeared that he would even become a part-owner of the Pilots. I interviewed him at his office on Mercer Island in November 1993. He passed away in August 2003.

In the late 1950s, Branch Rickey and Bill Shea were trying to start a third major league, the Continental League. Did you have any contact with them?
No, I did not. My feeling and hope was that, with fear of the new league, the majors as we know it—the National and American League—would start thinking about expansion. So, my feelings were to concentrate strictly, in this case, on the American League.

You were very involved in the 1960 stadium initiative. How was that funded?
Most of the money that was raised was raised among my friends in the restaurant business...people like Vic Rosellini gave me money, John Franco, Les Brainard.

Did you get any support from the Chamber of Commerce, Greater Seattle or the Central Association?
They gave me their support, but perhaps not as aggressively and not as thoughtful as they probably should have. It wasn't bitter. We lost and that was that.

If the 1960 initiative had passed, it would have provided $15 million to build a domed stadium. That amount was based on the Stanford Research Institute's economic feasibility study but a lot of people seemed to think that the amount was far too low. Do you think that's why it didn't pass?
I think there was some disbelief and some feeling that it wasn't the responsibility of the taxpayer to build the stadium—that there were other concerns that a lot of the politicians had about where that type of money should be spent. So, there wasn't a concentrated effort by the city and county officials. That was one of the reasons why it didn't pass. Also the fact that you had to have 60 percent of the vote and it's most difficult to do when you almost singlehandedly did it yourself. And that sounds like an arrogant statement, but it's true. A lot of them said 'go ahead and do it, Dave, I'll hold your coat.'

Did the fact that there was no commitment for a team, that we would be building it on spec, play a part?
I think that had a lot to do with it, yes. And again, it wasn't as high on their priorities.

[Note from Mike: In 1964, Cleveland Indians president Gabe Paul came to Seattle, to investigate a possible move to the Northwest. He was escorted around by Seattle Mayor Dorm Braman and Dewey Soriano, who was then president of the Pacific Coast League's Seattle Angels.]

Dorm Braman said that you were the one who brought Gabe Paul to Seattle. Is that true?
Gabe Paul did contact me and was at that time interested in moving the Cleveland Indians to Seattle and we brought him out and arranged for him to meet the city, county and state officials and Chamber of Commerce and some other people. Unfortunately, Gabe and the League felt that Sick's Stadium was not conducive to major league baseball. Fortunately for Gabe Paul, who's a nice person, he then found new and additional monies to keep the team in Cleveland.

[Note from Mike: Notes from the October 16, 1964 meeting of the Cleveland Indians' Board of Directors make clear that ownership was serious about moving to Seattle and confirms the notion that Sick's Stadium was the major sticking point.]

How did you meet Gabe Paul?
I must have met him through some of the baseball meetings that I attended. We just contacted people in the American League and just tell them about our community and how we felt a baseball team would do here, that people would support one in our community.

I assume not just anyone can go to baseball meetings. How did you...?
I was appointed by the city and county as chairman for the attempt to bring Major League Baseball to Seattle. I guess I had conversations even with the National League in which some of the National League owners were concerned about San Diego and didn't want to see a franchise in San Diego, because Walter O'Malley, who owned the L.A. Dodgers felt it was too much competition in those days. Through Senator Magnuson, I met Walter O'Malley, a fine gentlemen. And then we had the opportunity to talk with the San Diego people and the president or the owner of San Diego went broke.

C. Arnholt Smith?
Yes, Smith. I met Buzzie Bavasi and Buzzie came to town and was interested in perhaps moving San Diego to Seattle and this was what the National League and especially Walter O'Malley would like to see.

Their initial attendance was worse than the Pilots'.
Very bad and then Smith went bankrupt and Bavasi talked to us. We had a good shot at that until someone in San Diego with a lot of money decided to...and so that was written off.

[Note from Mike: We were jumping around quite a bit during this part of the interview, so allow me to clarify. As detailed in the Buzzie Bavasi interview, the National League was considering Seattle for an expansion team beginning with the 1969 season. Here, Mr. Cohn is referring to the period in 1973, when Smith was suffering a financial meltdown and needed to sell the Padres. Mr. Cohn and other Seattle interests were interested in having them move to Seattle as a replacement for the Pilots. The Padres were not a hit in San Diego, attracting about 165,000 fewer fans than the Pilots in 1969 and posting lower attendance figures than the Pilots until 1974. The "someone" to whom Mr. Cohn refers is McDonald's founder, Ray Kroc, who bought the Padres in 1973.]

Meantime, I met Herman Franks [manager of the San Francisco Giants between 1965-68]. He felt we could get the San Francisco Giants up here and he had a good connection with Horace Stoneham who owned the Giants. We had a group and—with all respects to Mr. Stoneham, he drank so much that the best time to see him was before 10 o'clock in the morning—we had met with Mr. Stoneham and he did want to sell the ballclub. I remember going to the TV stations; we could borrow money from KIRO so that they'd have the exclusive in broadcasts. We had most of the money lined up. It didn't take a lot of money in those days and the league rules were very much looser than they are now. And then, Stoneham, working with his son-in-law made arrangements and sold the ballclub to Lurie, which was fine.

This was early 1970s, right?
Before we attempted to get the stadium issue passed. Because we failed the second time, the Chamber got behind me and I worked with Joe Gandy, who became a dear, dear friend and we again tried to get the bond issue passed and again it failed. And being persistent and then getting some good vibes from some of the owners that said 'hey, continue--the American League especially would like to see a baseball franchise in the great Northwest.'

[Note from Mike: Again, we were jumping around chronologically. The Giants moved to San Francisco in 1958 and the first Seattle Stadium vote was in 1960, with the second vote he refers to coming in 1966. Horace Stoneham was exploring selling the team in the early 1970s and Seattle and Toronto were reportedly in the running until Bob Lurie bought it in 1976.]

Can you remember any of the owners who were especially supportive?
Actually, it was mostly through the president, Joe Cronin, who I'd spent some time with. My wife and he had been his guests and his wife Millie's in Boston and we got to become pretty darned good friends. We failed a second time and actually made friends, it was always a low-key approach. Then, the third time around, Jim Ellis came to me and told me all about Forward Thrust and asked me if I'd handle the dome end of it. And I said, 'yeah, I'd be happy to.' So, one day at a meeting in Chicago—county officials and city officials were there—and, being chairman, I made a pitch for a franchise. As the meeting ended, Joe Cronin said "Dave, you stay in the meeting, let the rest of the people go. And I want you to tell the Expansion Committee, just request a commitment if we build a stadium, that they'll put an American League franchise in the community." So, they left the room and I made that statement and the Expansion Committee approved it.

That's when they committed themselves to a franchise. Prior to that, Oakland was involved. Charlie Finley became a good friend of mine. Character. He, as you know, wanted to move out from Kansas City. We thought, well, fine. We were talking with the [King County] commissioner, Johnny O'Brien—good guy. We decided, heck, we weren't interested in Finley here in Seattle. He'd been here a few times and I personally liked the guy. Didn't have a lot of friends in baseball, but I liked the guy. We thought, well, gee, why an existing franchise? Let's go for a new franchise with local people. So we wished Charlie the best of luck in moving from Kansas City to Oakland.

Then, of course, with Forward Thrust and Jim Ellis, I chairmaned that committee. Jim Ellis and [Seattle mayor] Dorm Braman called me for a meeting and said "Dave, the stadium issue looks bad, it's not going to pass unless we tie it up with rapid transit." Meantime, I was getting information from Cronin who was polling the area a couple times a week and we didn't look bad. When Jim and the mayor told me that, I said, "well, look rapid transit is very, very important to the community—as important and probably to a lot of people, more important than a domed stadium. So, I wouldn't feel right if I caused the rapid transit to go down the drain, so let's keep them separated." Meantime, they had taped a program for television combining the two and KOMO at that time had called me and told me about this thing they'd taped and I said no, it's not proper. So I called the chap who was the overall chairman, Tom Bolger, who was with the telephone company, hell of a nice guy, and I told him "Tom, I'm supposed to be in charge of the dome" and I told him what happened and it didn't go on the air. Unfortunately, rapid transit failed and the dome passed.

Going back for a minute to the Indians' serious do you think they were they about moving to Seattle?
Well, you never know. I'd been around the track long enough then to know that sometimes an owner will play one city against another. I think that Paul would've preferred to stay in Cleveland if everything was right but he wanted the people in Cleveland to know that these things could happen. It happens all the time.

Why do you think that didn't the Indians move here?
The big thing was Sick's Stadium and the renovations. Meantime, I'm quite sure they were working with people back in Cleveland to make it more appealing for them to stay in Cleveland.

[Note from Mike: Estimates were that it would cost $800,000 to bring Sick's Stadium up to big league standards; since it was only going to be a temporary home, that did not seem to many like a wise investment. Exacerbating the problem was that the City didn't actually own it and the law prevented the City from spending public funds to improve a private enterprise. The owner, the Rainier Brewing Company, was willing to let the Indians use the stadium rent-free but weren't willing to also pay for the renovations. The Indians didn't want to pay, either, so the situation stayed deadlocked.]

Were you involved in the ticket drive to sell 8,000 season tickets?
Oh yes. I think that was done by the Chamber. I was involved in all of these things as chairman or co-chairman. I got involved because I came pretty cheap: a dollar-a-year man.

[Note from Mike: As part of the push to convince the Indians to move to Seattle, civic boosters started a season ticket drive, with a goal of 8,000 packages sold. That's not much by today's standards, but few teams sold that many in 1964.]

Seattle city officials got flack when the Indians move fell though. Was that criticism justified?
Oh yes, I think it was. On the other hand, it wasn't one of their top priorities. There were a lot of people in our community who didn't want to see the city and the county spend money to make the baseball owners more wealthy. There was resentment there.

Many people think other things are more important than stadiums...
I think what was the decisive factor in the Kingdome was the hotel/motel tax. And again, I was chairman of that committee, went down to Olympia and fortunately, I had of lot of good friends who were the leaders in the Senate: Martin Durkan, Bill Gisberg and Bob Greaves. Because they were my friends, we passed the hotel/motel tax. At one time, the hotel industry was against it: 'why should we be taxed?' Now, in Anaheim, when they built their stadium, the hotel/motel people went to the city and said 'hey, put a tax on us,' because in the time of the year when baseball is played, Disneyland wasn't that busy.

Were you on the Stadium Commission at that time? Had it even been formed?
We did visit a lot of the stadiums around the country. I remember we had hired the consultants, the architectural firm out of San Diego. I remember telling the chap, I don't remember his name, "look, you're here to pick out a site with no pressure. I want you to know nobody on the committee's going to pressure you. You've got a reputation to uphold, you make the right decision." I remember him saying 'gosh, we've done this in several cities and this is the first time a statement like that has been made to us.' And they picked a downtown location and there was a lot of controversy. They said for baseball, you've got to be in the downtown area. Football you can be any damned place. There were persons in the south end who wanted the stadium there and made a lot of terrible statements. One fellow's still alive and I don't want to talk about it. I think he meant well. I remember the person called Senator Magnuson a crook.

That wasn't Frank Ruano was it?
Yeah. When he called Maggie a crook, I went after him and fortunately was restrained.

One thing I should tell you: when we got the franchise, Senator Magnuson said, 'look, you have my proxy, go meet with Senator Symington from Missouri'

Sen. Stuart Symington
and I met the Senator. Handsome, debonair-looking fellow, looked like a senator is supposted to look. And we'd gone back there to keep the value of the franchise to a minimum, we agreed on—we, meaning Senator Magnuson with me as proxy and Symington—six million two hundred fifty thousand dollars. Meanwhile, I'm up in the senator's suite having a drink and a knock on the door and it's Ewing Kauffman. He comes in and says 'Senator, I want this franchise pretty badly.' Senator's a real smooth guy. He says to Kauffman, "'Tell me, are you a Republican or a Democrat?' 'Well, I'm a Republican,' but he says, 'I always voted for you.' Symington's a Democrat. 'Oh?' the senator says 'have you ever contributed to my campaign?' And Kauffman says 'Oh, oh, oh, I was never asked.' So, he says, 'I'm worth sixty million dollars, I don't care what it takes, but I want that franchise.' So, the Senator looks at me and says 'What do you think Dave?' and I says, "Well, with all respect to you, Mr. Kauffman, if I had my dithers, I'd order a heavy rope up here and tie you to this bed because if those vultures downstairs know that you'll pay anything for a franchise, this franchise is going to cost a lot more money." I said it with a smile, see. And he said, 'Well, fine' and then he left and Symington said, 'Well, Dave, he's going to get the franchise, but I don't know why he lied to me.'

Symington had some nasty things to say about Charlie Finley.
Well, he didn't like him, of course, because he moved out of Kansas City.

I've heard there was no love lost between you the Sorianos.
The Sorianos were bad people, real bad people. We were in Mexico City attending a winter meeting and and I'm called by Joe Cronin, my dear friend. He says, 'Look, the Expansion Committee is meeting, why don't you come one down to the meeting?' I go to this expansion meeting and the Committee said to me, 'Well, we're gonna give…' —and several different people wanted the franchise: Bert West was one of them, nice guy, at that time was the head of one of the stations, the Golden West station, KVI and other persons wanted it—and they said we're going to give the franchise to the Sorianos with the understanding we want Dave Cohn to have at least 25 percent of it. Gee, it was a shock to me. So, I thanked them and said I'd be more effective if that wasn't mentioned because we were trying to sell the bond issue. My dear friend was an attorney by the name of Charlie Burdell, he was one of the great trial attorneys in America and hewas a baseball nut, he caught in college and he knew all about this. And when the Sorianos didn't offer me the 25 percent interest, he said, 'Well, Dave, I'm going to go after them.' And I said, "Well, Charlie, look, these people are not good people and why would I want to be in business with them and also it was a minority position. I don't care." Then I concentrated on football. I wanted a football franchise. But that's another story.

When you say they were "bad people," what do you mean?
Well, one, they wanted that stadium built in the south end—they had some property and I, being chairman of that committee, wouldn't do it. Two, they, not having the sufficient amount of monies necessary wanted the food concessions in their name and according to law they go out on bid. Things like that. So, I didn't want to be associated with them at all. They got the franchise, they didn't know what the hell they were doing. They did have Daley from Cleveland as majority owner and Daley had said to me "you know, I'm going to be with you and I want you and I to stay close together and I want you to report to me anything you hear about the Sorianos." I'm not interested and that was the type of set-up it was problems I could see. They did a lot of bad things. They sold that team as quickly as possible without giving local people an opportunity. They didn't lose money, they didn't have any money invested. The brains was Max Soriano and I remember seeing him and I said, "you know, you're a no good son of a bitch—you and your brother. I said, "anybody that would call me a son of bitch, I would fight them." And he turned around and walked away from me. Of course, I used to be the heavyweight champion in World War II in the Caribbean area, so I used to like to fight and knew how. That was the last time I talked to Max Soriano.

[Note from Mike: I have not been able to confirm this part of the story. I believe what he was referring to with regard to the concessions was that Dewey Soriano wanted the freedom to choose the concessionaire for the domed stadium, but local law required that such a thing be subject to a competitive bidding procedure. This was actually an important point in the State of Washington's case against the American League and is detailed in the Bill Dwyer interview. For another viewpoint on whether Mr. Cohn was offered a minority share in the team, see the Max Soriano interview. I got the distinct impression that Cohn and the Sorianos did not like each other much, although Mr. Cohn was reluctant to have me share the previous two paragraphs while the Soriano brothers were still alive.]

Why do you think the Pilots didn't work?
One would be the lack of capital. Two, the lack of organization—lack of ability to run a franchise.

But William Daley had a considerable amount of money.
Daley had money but Daley didn't do a great job at Cleveland.

You'd think with Dewey Soriano's experience, it would be a very well-run franchise.
Well, some people even with experience just don't have the ability. You can see that in many walks of life.

So, you're saying it was because his experience was at the minor league level?
Yeah, another level and I don't think he had the ability, the brain power, to operate a successful franchise.

Why do think the attendance was so low?
I just don't think they did a good marketing job at all. I don't think they knew how or had the people with them that knew how.

Did the fans stay away because of the condition of Sick's Stadium?
They [the Pilots' owners] never said that before, said it would be fine on an interim basis. It's just another cop-out, another excuse.

Did you go to many of the games at Sick's Stadium?
Yeah, I went to the games. It needed a lot of renovation, but it was supposed to be strictly an interim stadium, so you spend monies but you try to keep it down, just getting it up to the position where we can play major league baseball until your new stadium was built.

The Sorianos said they got no help from the City after Forward Thrust. Was that right?
I didn't help them, but what I told you, people don't know that. I don't think they were trusted by the private sector, as well as some of the politicians.

I've heard that you helped arrange the Bank of California loan that financed the team in the first place. Is that true?
I was trying to help the Sorianos, yes, at that time until I found out that they weren't interested in giving me that percentage, or vice versa, so it worked out nicely.

Was it wise to finance the team almost entirely on borrowed money, with little or no equity?
It's not a good business idea. Because if you start making money immediately, you're okay but if you don't, you have problems and I think they had some problems.

Was Buzzie Bavasi really interested in a Seattle franchise?
Yes, I've got letters from him.

Did you travel with the Stadium Commission members?
Oh yeah, we inspected everywhere. One was Charlie Carroll. Councilman Charlie Carroll. We were back in D.C. and we were told 'hey, at night to stay close to the hotel.' And lo and behold, where's Charlie? Charlie had walked down to the most dangerous districts in D.C. Came back. "Charlie where in the hell have you been? We've all been worried about you." He said, "these people, they're my friends, they wouldn't bother me." That's the way Charlie was.

Joe Gandy was a great guy, one of those real outgoing persons, he was president of the World's Fair. We were going out to see O'Malley and the stadium and he was telling the Commission that O'Malley was a good friend of his. And I said nothing. So, we get out to the stadium and we're ushered into O'Malley's office where O'Malley's sitting in back of a huge desk and chair and mountings on the wall because he was a hunter. So, five, six of us walk in, I'm at the back and Joe in first and he ignores Joe and goes all the way around to the back and says "Dave, it's good to see you!" I was so darn embarrassed.

What can you tell me about the Ad Hoc Committee? Eddie Carlson's group?
Eddie Carlson was another story about baseball. I had asked him to become interested in the baseball situation, had the financing and he said, 'Fine.' I'd gotten enough out of it and I was pulling back. I had my day. Cronin called me, he said, 'Dave,' he says, 'Carlson—nice guy but he's making a pitch that he wants his group to be a non-profit group.' He says, 'That's not going to work.' I told Eddie that it wouldn't work, but he tried it anyway and he was shot out of the box.

[Note from Mike: Eddie Carlson was a former CEO of Westin Hotels and United Airlines and is generally acknowledged as the driving force behind the 1962 Seattle World's Fair.]

There were efforts to revitalize downtown in the late '60s…
It was part of the Downtown Association. What do they call themselves now? The Downtown Seattle Association. Initially called the Central Association, but then they changed to 'downtown.' The purpose was to revitalize downtown and make it strong and vibrant, yes.

Did Mayor Braman lobby you for an in-city site as part of that effort?
No, I don't think he lobbied me; I think we had an understanding. I think we all wanted it downtown. So, nobody lobbied me, I thought that was the best place for the stadium.

Spellman said a multi-purpose stadium had to be in the city to work. So you agreed?
I think it had to be a multi-purpose stadium. That's how we sold it. I agree for a multi-purpose stadium, it should be built downtown. Football could be anywhere, but for baseball and other sports, it should be downtown. You know, you're centrally located, you draw from the east side, the west side, the south side.

Charlie Finley came here when he was talking about moving the A's out of Kansas City. Do you think he was serious about Seattle?
I think he was somewhat serious, of course that was before he chose Oakland. But again, our strategy was, with all respects to Finley, we'd prefer to get a new franchise.

Why was that?
Well, new franchise, local owners. Just a matter of having local ownership.

Did he contact you or did you contact him about bringing them out?
I was introduced to Finley by mutual friends. I might have called him based on mutual friends. I'm not sure, but I would say that I probably called him first.

Was Joe Cronin's visit in August 1967 to scope out Seattle as expansion site?
I grew very fond of Joe. He was a very concscienscious, sincere, honest person. And no doubt he liked the area. He did know the Sorianos and probably at that time thought they were great people.

Several baseball players came to Seattle to lobby for the Forward Thrust initiative. Was that Joe Cronin's idea?
He was responsible for sending out Mickey Mantle and some of the baseball stars. They came out, made public appearances and that was something that Joe had arranged.

There was some dispute about whose idea that was.
Joe wanted to help in all manners that he could and this was one of the ways that we had suggested to him, bringing out some of the baseball celebrities.

Did baseball encourage passage of stadium issue?
They absolutely encouraged it. They helped me immensely. They were polling all the time, at their own expense. 'They'—actually, it was Cronin's hand, but no doubt as president, he did talk with his committees. They were very, very cooperative. Cronin wanted baseball in the Northwest and wanted it in the American League.

Why is that?
One, that it was that the Northwest was the last area in the country that they felt could support baseball. They had Minneapolis. They figured that would make it a little more reasonable to have two teams on the coast.

Cronin said you were "Mr. Bond Issue..."
I always a soft sell people, I'm not a pressure person and I think Joe liked that. And Joe was the same way. Joe should have been commissioner of baseball but he was happy where he was.

Is public financing of stadiums proper? Do they enrich owners?
They don't enrich owners. In the last 20 years, owners don't make money in baseball, they make money selling the franchise to somebody else. You've got to remember the amount of monies professional sports brings into a community in the areas of taxes. The Kingdome is not paid for by the taxpayers; it's paid for by the hotel/motel tax. It's generated three or four hundred million dollars. I think it has to be a partnership. We don't resent when you open a new libraray, which is strictly an expense of the taxpayers—and rightfully so. We didn't resent when you built more roads to get into Boeing or someplace else because it's a proper thing to do. There's an image of a baseball owner of being filthy rich and selfish and that's not true. Right now, I think the owners are killing baseball based on the escalation of salaries. You can't blame the baseball players. I'm very fond of the new ownership. In fact, I helped put that together.

I remember when Baltimore wanted to come out here; I remember talking with the Baltimore owner. They were having big problems in Baltimore. Remember the Chicago White Sox and the guy who was in the investment business owned it—Allyn—I talked to Allyn. There was a lot of teams were hurting. I remember meeting Hoffberger and having dinner with him. The Senators were out of D.C., I can't remember the year. Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland in the American League. National League: San Diego and the San Francisco Giants.

[Note from Mike: The Baltimore owner to which Mr. Cohn refers was Jerry Hoffberger. His declining brewery business led him to call for a new stadium and, in 1975, said that the Orioles were for sale. The story is outlined in greater detail in James Edward Miller's book, "The Baseball Business: Pursuing Pennants and Profits in Baltimore."]

Would baseball have come back without the lawsuit?
I credit Slade Gorton with doing a hell of a job. I remember being in Kansas City for a meeting and Spellman was there. Spellman sat in the back of his room with his pipe, didn't say a damn word. Spellman, he's a nice guy. Slade went right for the jugular vein. I remember we went to a baseball game with the owners and the attorneys for the American League that night in Kansas City and an old attorney came up to me and said: "Slade Gorton, I don't know what he's trying to do, but he's in left field." And they all said that at different times to me, which I felt that they were very much concerned with Slade Gorton and his proper tactics. So, I say that Slade Gorton did more in the bringing us a franchise. See, I was there and I was watching, but Spellman sat back and didn't do anything.

Hoffberger and Short seemed anxious to move the Pilots. Why?
Because of their lack of trust in the Sorianos. I never wanted to badmouth the Sorianos with the other owners. All I remember is saying to Joe Cronin, "Joe, I'm not interested in the 25 percent. These people are people that have to be watched."

You said that the Sorianos left as fast as possible. Why?
You have to ask them, they'll give you a lot of excuses, but I think they'd say the same thing, they didn't get the support of the community. But they didn't deserve the support of the community. Underfinanced, just not ethical people. The public didn't know that, the rank and file. Why they didn't support them, I don't know. This was a new franchise, major league baseball for Seattle, great minor league town. You'd think they'd do very well the first year or two.

Did the sale get the Sorianos out of a bad situation?
In their own mind, they can always say "Well, I gave the city an opportunity and they didn't support me, so the hell with them."

Daley offered to sell locally, but no one was interested.
No one was interested because of the type of reputation that they had.

Did you know Daley well?
I knew him well enough that he said to me, 'Dave, you're the guy I'm going to trust out here and if the Sorianos are doing something wrong, you let me know.' I said "That's not in my makeup, Bill." He had confidence in me, but I was not even offered the 25 percent.

So it was the baseball owners that wanted you in for the 25 percent?
Yeah, Cronin and the Expansion Committee.

But not the Sorianos?

They didn't say anything; they were at the meeting. They said, 'Okay, we're going to give you the franchise, Sorianos, but Dave Cohn has to have the opportunity to buy 25 percent of it.' Not give 25 percent of it, buy 25 percent of it and I thanked them very much. But it never got out of that room.

Their intent all along was not to give me the 25 percent, because I think I disappointed them on the south end point. I just didn't operate that way. They would talk to me about the concessions, for the Jacobs, it has to be guaranteed. I guess we just lost confidence in one another. I think they lost confidence because they didn't want to give me the 25 percent and I lost confidence based on the type of persons that they were.

[Note from Mike: "The Jacobs" were the family that owned Sportservice.]

Going back to Frank Ruano…
I've got some good friends down in Texas and I always like to use their expression "big hat, no cattle." He loved to get his name in the paper and he did. Everybody that was against him were no good, crooks, whatever. City, county, senators, you name it. Yet, I got to know him later on and I tolerated him, I didn't say don't call me and things like that. I think he was very devious.

In what way?
I think he was more interested in, not the city and county's welfare, but his own welfare. Didn't he have an interest in properties? Wasn't he with that Ferrucci? They had something going for them in the sound end.

I was disappointed that none of this was mentioned in Eddie Carlson's autobiography.
Because he was embarrassed.

Embarrased at what?
Because he didn't do it the right way.

What do you mean?
He could have put an ownership group together that would have done it the right way and bought the team, rather than a non-profit.

Why do you think he did that?
Because he thought he was doing something good for the community.