ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The president of the Minnesota Twins downplayed a report Friday that famed slugger Reggie Jackson inquired about buying the franchise as part of an investment group trying to bring baseball to Las Vegas.
Dave St. Peter confirmed that team officials were contacted by Jackson within the last several weeks. But St. Peter said Jackson was told the team was not for sale.
"Our ownership and our entire organization has 100 percent of
our focus on seeing through a Minnesota solution," St. Peter said.
In 2002, Twins owner Carl Pohlad put the team up for sale. But
he later took the ball club off the market.
The Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported on its Web site Friday that Jackson wants to be the first in line if the club goes up for sale again. The Associated Press was working to contact Jackson.
"I did make an inquiry, and I wanted to show an interest," Jackson told the newspaper. "I know they've got some issues with stadiums, et cetera. I've heard the family might consider selling the team, and I wanted to be first on the list to inquire."
The Twins have been after public subsidies for a new ballpark
for more than a decade. Their latest proposal would use proceeds
from an increased Hennepin County sales tax if the state
Legislature signs off.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty and legislative leaders have been unable to work out an agreement for a special session to pass the Twins bill.
"The Twins have told us they're not for sale and we take them at their word," said Brian McClung, a spokesman for Pawlenty.
Jackson wouldn't tell the newspaper if he would move the Twins to Las Vegas if such a sale went through.
"You can't move a team without baseball's permission," he said. "Baseball moves teams, not owners."
Jackson played baseball for 21 seasons, hit 563 home runs and is in the Hall of Fame. The Star Tribune reported he is a part-time Las Vegas resident and has been active in that city's quest to land a major league baseball franchise.