Heavy Hitter of Baseball Marketing Is Settling in

Guess who's in town? Eligible bachelor Joel Rubenstein, the man who masterminded merchandising for the 1984 Olympics under Peter Ueberroth and is now his man in charge of corporate marketing for major-league baseball.

While the main office remains in Manhattan, Rubenstein, 51, is working out of the Major Leagues' satellite office in El Toro to "look far and wide in the western United States" for corporate support.

"There are a lot of good candidates out here," said Rubenstein, who is living in Laguna Beach. (Baseball already has IBM, Chevrolet, The Equitable, USA Today, etc. on its corporate team--"companies that spend well into the seven-figure range.")

"But we have six clubs on the West Coast," Rubenstein said. And, working out of Orange County, Rubenstein can get to three of those clubs (Angels, Dodgers and Padres) in an hour.

"The working day for baseball is long," he said. "When it's 6 o'clock in New York, it's 3 o'clock on the West Coast, and five clubs are still working.

"We want to expand our working hours. I'll be spending about one week a month in Manhattan, and Peter will be spending about one week a month here. (Ueberroth has a home in Emerald Bay.) He's terrific, probably intuitively one of the sharpest guys I've ever met.

"When he became commissioner of baseball, only half a dozen of the 26 clubs were making money. Now, only half a dozen aren't. We hope to get all of the clubs in the black."

(You heard it here: The tones of Rubenstein's speaking voice are tres dulcet.)

Two for the road: Karl-Irvine. Get used to the sound. . .

Stuart Karl--the video Wunderkind who put Jane Fonda on tape, and James Irvine, great-grandson of the James Irvine (and former owner of Orange Coast Video, a mobile TV operation), have formed their own motion-picture production company.

Dubbed Karl-Irvine, the partnership is their "first venture," said Karl, a resident of Newport Beach. "We've known each other on and off for years, have similar interests." Irvine lives in Laguna Beach .

The partners, both 34, plan to produce three to five films per year in the $3- to $5-million category and one or two annually in the $8- to $10-million range.

"Plus some experimental low-budget films," Karl said.

"Jack," the working title of a film about John F. Kennedy visiting Earth on the 25th anniversary of his death, "is first on our slate," Karl says.

"Personally, I see this (business venture) as the next step in my evolution. If you look closely at the independents, you'll see a tremendous need for quality. If I have a dream, it's to be known for quality film production."

On the road again: Keep it under your hood, but developer William Lyon's new antique car museum at Coto de Caza will be the site Jan. 27 of congressional aspirant Nathan Rosenberg's high-stepping fund-raiser.

For a whopping $1,000 per , guests will dine in the room that houses Lyon's 40 classics on wheels, the superstar of which is a 1931 Bugatti Royale coupe de ville (with a sterling silver elephant for a hood ornament).

Hemingway's of Corona del Mar is catering the heady affair. "Limited to 150 because the room was built for automobiles, not dinners," said Rosenberg, 35.

With invitations sent out early this week, 50 supporters said "oui" by Wednesday. Among them: carpet mogul Leo Cook; vitamin mogul Thomas Tierney and his wife, Elizabeth; home builder Jim Peters; Western Digital CEO Roger Johnson and his wife, Janice (hosts, this week, of a breakfast for Rosenberg at the chic Pacific Club in Newport Beach where they introduced him to 19 reps of the electronics industry); developer John Lusk; developer Bob Lintz; L.A.'s Steve Dart (whose father was Reagan Kitchen Cabinet member Justin Dart), and National Lumber owner Mel Jaffee and his wife, Raya.

"There'll be food and speeches," Rosenberg said. "And a military honor guard. They'll salute people as they walk in. And of course, there will be apple pie. You know. Mom's comin' and we'll have apple pie and the American flag."

Morsels: TV's Mike Wallace was in Newport Beach last month filming a segment of "60 Minutes" in a luxury suite at the Four Season Hotel. Mum's the word on the subject matter--even NBC in New York won't divulge--but word's out the episode had something to do with "precious metals" Precious.

PR mogul Gloria Zigner will celebrate her one-month anniversary in New York over dinner with husband Irv Goldberg and Claire Trevor, Donald Bren's step-mum. Seems Zigner's known Trevor, who resides at the Pierre (Don Bren has a spread there too) for years.

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