DeWitt held a press conference the day after he and Angelos purchased the team and said he would be the franchise’s “baseball man” when it would come time to sign free agents and make trades. He said he looked forward to a “more active role” in baseball than his minority ownership in Texas. Lucchino believed he was part of that more active role as well.
They became partners again in a bid to buy the Pittsburgh Pirates, but Lucchino dropped out of that venture to join John Moores in his deal to purchase the San Diego Padres from television executive Tom Werner (now a partner with Lucchino in the Red Sox ownership). Dewitt got the chance to own his hometown team when he purchased the Cardinals in 1996.
Since then, both men have made their respective franchises among the most successful in baseball. Lucchino, the mastermind behind Camden Yards and who got the new ballpark in San Diego built, has saved Fenway Park through creative refurbishing. DeWitt oversaw the development of a new Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
“In hindsight, I’m glad that Baltimore didn’t work out,” he told me.
He is not likely the first person to have said that.
• Thom Loverro is co-host of “The Sports Fix,” noon to 2 p.m. daily on ESPN 980 radio and espn980.com