When George Steinbrenner Was Hours Away From Owning the Indians

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Everyone knows that Steinbrenner is a Clevo native and had interest in buying the Tribe, here's a little detail on how a handshake deal to buy the Tribe fell apart at the last minute.

Via the NYT Bats blog:

In his new biography, “Steinbrenner: The Last Lion of Baseball” (Harper), Bill Madden recounts that on Dec. 6, 1971, Steinbrenner’s ownership group struck a handshake agreement to purchase the Indians for $8.6 million from Jimmy Stouffer, a classmate from Culver Military Academy in Indiana. A news conference to announce the deal was scheduled that night at Steinbrenner’s American Shipbuilding office, but at 5 p.m., Stouffer’s father, Vernon, called Steinbrenner and killed the deal.

“You and your friends are trying to steal my team,” Madden quotes Vernon Stouffer saying. “You’ve already leaked the sale price to the press. I know I can get at least $10 million for it. So forget about it. I won’t be pressured. I’m not selling to you.”

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