President Donald Trump’s long career in business has seen him own casinos, golf courses and hotels.
Did he also try to own the San Francisco Giants?
Trump’s history has been explored thoroughly by news outlets since the election. Even sports outlets are getting involved. Deadspin on Thursday published a lengthy, detailed account of his foray into the world of baseball, titled “The Sad Failure Of Donald Trump’s Desperate Attempt At A Baseball League.”
As its headline suggests, writer Dave McKenna pulled very few punches, referencing news stories dating back to 1983 that chronicle a nearly decade long effort by Trump to buy a franchise – or even create his own league.
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“On Feb. 11, 1985, UPI sports editor Milton Richman had a story headlined “With Flutie in Tow, Trump Looks to Get Into Baseball,” which said that Trump’s bid to buy the Twins had fallen through, ‘so the team that interests him now is the San Francisco Giants,’” McKenna wrote.
He continues: “In the San Diego Union-Tribune on March 21, 1985, Giants owner Bob Lurie confirmed that Trump told him he ‘was interested in owning the Giants in San Francisco, not taking them back to the New York area.’”
McKenna’s story also details Trump’s effort in 1989 to bring baseball to Washington, D.C., in the form of a new league with theoretical names including the Independent Baseball League and the Trump League. The Washington Post editorial board endorsed Trump’s idea, McKenna added.
As for Trump owning the Giants, Bay Area sports fans in 2017 can only imagine how that would have gone.
“Another time he just wanted to say hello when I was in New York, so I went to his office and shook his hand, I don't think I was there more than 10 minutes. But he was interested in owning the Giants in San Francisco, not taking them back to the New York area,” Giants owner Bob Lurie said in 1985, according to a story available via New York Times wire services.
Some are skeptical that Trump would have really kept the Giants in San Francisco.
In a reaction piece for McCovey Chronicles posted Friday, Grant Brisbee cites the fact Trump didn’t end up buying the Giants as proof “that we are not in the darkest timeline,” saying the likeliest scenario is that Trump would have moved the team to New York, ruined it and sold it for a profit.
Trump buying the Giants seemed plausible to Brisbee, who is vocally anti-Trump.
“He was famous, and baseball needed publicity coming out of the ‘70s, and Trump wasn’t yet known for ruining everything he touches for everyone involved except for himself,” Brisbee wrote.
At any rate, it didn’t happen. Trump didn’t buy the Giants or any other major-league franchise, nor end up starting his own competing league. Some Giants fans chiming in on Twitter seemed perfectly OK with that.