Briggs Denies Tigers Are for Sale: Dedicates Himself to Rebuilding Club, Daily Racing Form, 1953-05-13


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Briggs Denies Tigers Are for Sale Dedicates Himself | To Rebuilding Club Resigned Post With Parent Company in Order to Give His Full Time to Baseball By LLOYD NORTHARD United Press Sports Writer DETROIT, Mich., May 12. — Spike Briggs, dedicated to a campaign to get the Detroit Tigers back on their feet, today flatly denied the cellar-dwelling club was for sale. The Tigers president said his only concern is the estate of his father, the late Walter O. Briggs, who became sole owner of the Tigers in the late 1930s and was ] president of the team until he died last . year. ; "As I interpret his will," Briggs said, "the grandchildren are to reap the benefits of his labor. I want to make sure there are some benefits to reap and the ball team is the only part of the estate that is in trouble." Briggs didnt deny that he has received ! overtures from parties interested in buying the lowly Tigers. The latest such report originated in Kankakee, 111. It said J. W. Mortell, a former Kankakee businessman now living in Jackson, Mich., was a member of a syndicate trying to purchase the club. Received Letter Last Year "I vaguely remember receiving a letter i last year inquiring if the team was for sale," Briggs said. "I replied that the team wasnt for sale and the same thing goes now. I dont remember who that letter was from, but it might have been Mortell." Meanwhile, Briggs completed plans to ; move from his office at the Briggs Manu- ] facturing Co. to new offices at Briggs Stadium, the home of the Tigers. He announced his resignation Monday as vice-president and general manager of the manufacturing company, the core of the Briggs estate, to devote full time to his duties as president of the ball club. "I wouldnt have resigned if the club was , going to be sold," Briggs said. "I dont ; want to start selling apples at the corner ; of Michigan and Fourth." For 16 months since the death of his father, Briggs has served as a "week-end president." As a full-time executive, he will now be able to keep in close contact with Charley j Gehringer, his general manager, and Her- , old "Muddy" Ruel, the farm club director, on front office activities as the trio attempts to lift the Tigers out of the basement and into financial solvency. KANKAKEE, 111., May 12 UP.— J. W. j Mortell, former Kankakee businessman now living in Jackson, Mich., said today he is a member of a syndicate trying to purchase the floundering Detroit Tigers. Mortell said he and associates conferred i with Tiger president Walter O. "Spike" Briggs last August and made him an offer. Briggs refused to sell at that time, Mortell said, but negotiations are still under way. The Tigers, valued at ,000,000, are part of the 0,000,000 estate left by the late W. O. Briggs to his widow, four daughters and the son, "Spike".

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