view raw text
Veeck Again Denies Buying Browns Press Reveals Deal AlreadyTrahsacted Papers in Three Different Cities Report Sale; DeWitt Declares Story Untruthful ST. LOUIS, Mo., June 8 UP.— For the fourth time in nine days, the St. Louis Browns today were reported sold to Bill Veeck, former Cleveland Indians owner. But with dogged emphasis, both Veeck and President Bill DeWitt of the be-leagured Brownies once again denied that a deal has been made. The afternoon Cleveland Press and St. Louis Star-Times and the morning Detroit Free Press all reported "on good authority" today that the Browns have been sold to Veeck. The New York Post reported the sale last Thursday. All said that Veeck will keep the franchise in St. Louis, although the Cleveland Press reported that he may shift the club to Los Angeles in 1952. "I have not bought the Brown," Veeck Insisted in Chicago, "and Im going to get a sign painted, saying that, to hang on my chest." In St. Louis, DeWitt said, "there is absolutely no truth to the story that the club has been sold." Problem Is to Attract Fans DeWitt added thath is problem was not In finding a customer to purchase the club, but in attracting more cash customers to Sportsmans Park to meet his mortgage payment for the financially-distressed Browns. The Cleveland Press said, however, that the Browns already have been sold to Veeck and the announcement will be made "as soon as a few details are ironed out." The press quoted its source as saying, Veeck shouldnt deny the sale any longer; he has bought the club." The Star-Times reported that Veecks associates in the purchase of the Browns are Mark Steinberg and Sidney Salomon, St. Louis investments brokers. Salomon, a former business associate of president Fred Saigh of the Cardinals, is said to own 10 per cent of the Cards common stock. Steinberg recently bought up a 00,000 note from Richard Muckerman, former owner of the Browns. The note represented a second mortgage on the controlling stock in the Browns, which is held by DeWitt and his brother Charles. The Star-Times quoted Veeck: "The Browns belong in one city, and I mean St. Louis, not Milwaukee where he once was reported ready to transfer the franchise. Milwaukee is a minor league city on the basis of baseball population." Veeck, who proved one of the most enterprising owners in baseball, bought the controlling interest in the Indians in 1946, but sold out in 1949 after developing a world championship team in 1948.