Orel Hershiser joins Steve Garvey in potential bid for Dodgers

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Orel Hershiser, the star of the Dodgers’ last World Series championship team, said Sunday that he has allied with former Dodgers standout Steve Garvey in his effort to buy the club if it is sold.

Hershiser (pictured at left) said he believed his experience as an ESPN analyst and as a former player, coach and executive in the major leagues could help the investment group that Garvey is trying to assemble. Hershiser declined to talk specifically about the Dodgers and said he had not considered pursuing ownership of a professional sports team until Garvey contacted him.

‘This is not something I’ve sat back and thought a lot about,’ Hershiser said. ‘It is something people dream about.’


Hershiser’s interest was first reported by the Los Angeles Daily News on Sunday.

It is uncertain whether Garvey has the financial backing to mount a serious bid. Garvey said in April that billionaire Ron Burkle had joined the investment group, but a person familiar with the discussions subsequently said the billionaire met with Garvey but made no firm commitment to him. It is not known whether the parties have renewed discussions since then, and Garvey has declined to identify other potential investors.

Hershiser referred inquiries about Burkle to Garvey, who did not return a message Sunday. However, Hershiser said he thinks there are more than enough legitimate investors behind the potential bid.

‘I think we will be oversubscribed,’ he said. ‘They definitely have the financial wherewithal to do it.’

[Updated, 3:32 p.m.: In a telephone interview later Sunday, Garvey conceded that he has no formal agreement with Burkle. Garvey said he believes his group could finance a bid even without Burkle but said he has talked with the billionaire and hopes to have him on board if and when the Dodgers go up for sale.

‘We’d love to have him,’ Garvey said.]

In 1988, the last year the Dodgers won the World Series, Hershiser won the Cy Young Award and most-valuable-player honors in the National League Championship Series and the World Series. He won 23 games that season, a total exceeded in Los Angeles history only by Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale.

Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has scrambled to make payroll this season. If he misses payroll -- the next one is due June 15 -- Major League Baseball could pay the salaries, seize the team and put it up for sale. Also, McCourt’s ex-wife, Jamie, has asked the judge overseeing the couple’s divorce to order an immediate sale of the team, and a hearing on her request is set for June 22.

-- Bill Shaikin