April 1st, 2020 Baseball Business and Winter Meetings Trivia Answer
Ray Kroc bought the San Diego Padres in January, 1974. C. Arnholt Smith attempted to call the deal off when he and his lawyers learned that the IRS was interested in the check to go against the $22.8 million dollar lien they had against Smith. Additionally, a six-figure expenses check needed to go to a group based in Washington, DC, who were earlier potential bidders on the team. Finalization of the sale took place on February 12th, 1974. Two weeks later, San Diego dropped its lawsuit against the National League, involving the claim that there was a conspiracy to move the team to DC.
To up the level of drama, during the home opener on April 9th, as the bottom of the eighth inning was about to begin, Kroc went on the Public Address microphone and berated the team. “I suffer with you,” Kroc proclaimed. Adding to the developing circus, a streaker ran onto the field. Kroc continued, “Get that streaker out of here. Throw him in jail.” Indeed, the streaker was deterred.
And Kroc continued … “I have some good news and bad news. The good news is that we’ve outdrawn the Dodgers. They had 31,000 for their opener and we have 39,000 for ours. The bad news is that I’ve never seen such stupid ball-playing in my life.”
Oddly, enough the Padres struck for 3 runs in the bottom of the 8th, though all 3 runs were unearned. And the Padres still lost the game.