DeBartolo Expresses Interest in Pirates Despite Ueberroth’s Alleged Opposition


Edward J. DeBartolo said Monday it is possible that he will buy the financially troubled Pittsburgh Pirates, but that he is distressed by baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth’s alleged opposition to his ownership bid.

DeBartolo, of Youngstown, Ohio, has been rumored for months as a prospective buyer for one of three major league franchises with attendance problems--the Pirates, the Cleveland Indians and the San Francisco Giants.

DeBartolo already owns both the National Hockey League’s Pittsburgh Penguins and the Major Indoor Soccer League’s Pittsburgh Spirit, and has extensive real estate and shopping mall interests.


Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., who owns the Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers, indicated that his father’s interest in the Pirates would be stronger if Ueberroth hadn’t indicated his opposition to DeBartolo ownership.

The elder DeBartolo made his comments at a news conference to announce an agreement with Pittsburgh city officials on a financial relief package that would allow him to keep the money-losing pro hockey and soccer teams in town another season and refurbish the Civic Arena.

The Penguins and Spirit together lost more than $5 million during the 1984-85 seasons, and DeBartolo threatened to move the teams out of Pittsburgh unless ticket sales increased and governmental relief was provided.

The memorandum of agreement specifically provides for $11.4 million in improvements to the 24-year-old Civic Arena downtown, rent reductions and three annual $550,000 payments to help offset the clubs’ operating expenses.

Frank Budd, father of South African-born runner Zola Budd, told a London newspaper that his 19-year-old daughter should give up her track career and return to her homeland.

“She would be well advised to stop running immediately and return home to South Africa to rethink her future,” Budd told the London Sun, two days after Zola’s crushing defeat by Mary Decker Slaney in last Saturday’s so-called Olympic rematch at London’s Crystal Palace stadium.


Budd said that his daughter, who took British citizenship to run in the Olympics, now was a “very unhappy little girl.”

Half of the runners at the National Sports Festival marathon next weekend may fall victim to the heat and humidity in Baton Rouge, La., according to race director Len Bahr.

Bahr ran the course last Sunday morning and called it brutal. He also said that The Athletics Congress, the governing body for track and field in the United States, will evaluate the weather next Saturday night before deciding whether to hold a full marathon Sunday morning or cut it in half.

John Garcia, a boxer who was arrested in Norfolk, Va., as an escaped prisoner after losing a nationally televised fight Saturday, has waived extradition to Colorado and said his weekend bout was worth the risk of being recaptured after three years.

General District Judge Lydia C. Taylor refused to grant Garcia bail, and the 29-year-old lightweight agreed to return to Colorado, where authorities say he escaped from the state penitentiary June 26, 1982. Police in Denver described him as a career criminal who has been arrested 61 times on charges ranging from firearms and narcotics violations to assault.

Charges of indecent conduct filed in May against New York Yankee players Don Mattingly and Dale Berra have been dropped, a club spokesman said.


Team spokesman Joe Safety issued a statement during Monday night’s Yankees-Royals game announcing that the charges had been dropped. Both players had been scheduled to appear today in Municipal Court.

Berra, 28, and Mattingly, 24, were arrested in separate incidents while the club was at Kansas City for a three-game series.

Names in the News

USC golfer Sam Randolph, a two-time first-team All-American, has won the Fred Haskins Award as the outstanding collegiate golfer in the nation. Randolph was the runner-up in this year’s NCAA tournament and was low amateur at the Masters last April.

Second baseman Todd Crosby of Woodland Hills was honored as most valuable player of the series between the U.S. national baseball team and the Korean nationals in Seoul. Crosby’s consecutive home runs in the sixth game gave the United States a 2-1 victory. The U.S. team won that series, 4-3, after having lost to Japan, 4-3.

Jake LaMotta, former world middleweight boxing champion whose life was depicted in the movie “Raging Bull,” has been named to Ring magazine’s boxing Hall of Fame.