America would be better off if Donald Trump wasn’t close enough to the presidency that he’ll soon be getting national security briefings. The Twins, well, they probably couldn’t be worse off no matter what. All of which makes the 1984 sale of the Twins to Carl Pohlad a grand missed opportunity.
Why? Because, it seems, Donald Trump wanted to buy the Twins from then-owner Calvin Griffith and significantly outbid Pohlad for the right to do so. Except no one has a “right” to buy a baseball team and it doesn’t have to go to the highest bidder so Griffith sold to Pohlad instead. That much of the story is recounted in the Star Tribune today, with the larger story coming from Jon Kerr’s 1990 biography about former Griffith, “Calvin: Baseball’s Last Dinosaur,”
I’ve not read the book and the news story doesn’t go into great detail, but I’m sure Trump’s failure to purchase the Twins was a function of Major League Baseball wanting no part of him in their ownership club whatsoever. At the time of the bidding Trump was the primary mover behind the upstart USFL and, for that reason alone, MLB was likely sour on him given that baseball has never liked upstarts all that much. Or businessmen who declare bankruptcy on multiple occasions. They’re good with blowhards, though, so as far as that goes he would’ve probably been OK, even if the other stuff sunk him.