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In honor of actor Andy Garcia and his (unintentionally) hilarious reaction to Sofia (Mary Corleone) Coppola's death scene in "The Godfather, Part III."
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For Sale

Posted 02-08-2018 at 04:34 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 06-30-2018 at 12:43 PM by TommyJohn

FOR SALE:
Chicago American League Baseball Club, Inc.
75 years old, slightly used
Lots of debt service

All interested parties please contact John Allyn at 35th and Shields:

1-312-I-M-B-R-O-K-E

(ballpark sold separately)

The first warning signs that the team was up for sale came on June 5. That day Dave Condon's column was headlined: "Report sale of Sox imminent."

In the column Condon quoted a source "known to be as truthful as George Washington" that a deal would be made within days.

John Allyn denied that anything was about to happen. "If anyone is closing a deal I'd like to know about it" he told Condon.

Condon further revealed that someone had put a syndicate together to make the deal. Dave wrote that he was pledged not to reveal the two money men who had been approached to help finance it. The price tag was said to be $14 million, which included the ballpark.

One of the anonymous investors told Condon that it was a tax shelter deal and that they planned to sell the real estate and lease it back.

Allyn admitted to Condon that he once dreamed up a deal that involved only the sale of the park and a lease back, and how a package sale of the team and park for $20 million could be used as a tax shelter.

"It's no secret that the White Sox operation has had a slightly reddish tinge in the bookkeeping department, but so far Allyn has persisted in showing his faith in Chicago's south side." Condon wrote. He expressed hope that the team would get it together, the fans would come out and Allyn would get the pennant he wanted so badly.

Condon continued in the same column: "Meanwhile, Bill Veeck's plans to purchase the Baltimore Orioles for $10.5 million (without real estate) have hit an internal revenue snag. The seller is waiting for a favorable tax ruling...otherwise Veeck can continue bird watching at his estate in Easton, Md. But wouldn't it be great to have The Wreck back in the game?"

Three weeks later, on June 22, Rick Talley's column gave a face and name to the anonymous investors looking to purchase Allyn's ballclub. Talley revealed that the man looking to buy the White Sox was Tony Tortoriello, owner of 99.3 % of Torco Oil Co. Tortoriello would serve as team president.

And who, you ask, would Torco hire to handle the baseball end of the operation? Why, Tony had just the man for the General Manager position-his Vice-President in Charge of Sales, the retired baseball legend himself-Ron Santo. Santo, in turn, planned to hire his old roommate and best friend from those great Cubbie teams of myth and legend, Glenn Beckert, as his assistant.

Talley asked Tortoriello the one question he could think to ask "are you guys crazy? Do you really want to buy the White Sox?" (I guess in Rick's mind, you had to be crazy to want to own the scum team, and not the wonderful Cubbies).

Tortoriello retorted that he was dead serious. He said he wasn't looking for publicity or an ego trip. He was looking for sheltered dollars and the chance the turn a loser into a winner. "We're the logical buyers for this club because we have the ingredients to make it a success. We can sustain losses with the club because it will be a part of Torco."

There was one snag. "I would love to buy the team and have the money, but not at the price quoted to me. It's not realistic." Tortoriello said.

Talley also sneered "believe me, winning and profiting with the White Sox would be a challenge." He concluded by speculating who would stay (pretty much nobody) under the Torco regime. "I have to believe that Tanner, Hemond, announcers Caray, J.C. Martin and a few other folks can all save time by phoning the same travel agency."

He lastly suggested that the Sox players phone the laundry man to find out if he offered same day service. (Um,...Ok. Whatever that means. But the great Rick Talley wrote it, so I guess it is wise and profound.)
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