Tom D'Alesandro

From BR Bullpen

Thomas Ludwig John D'Alesandro Jr.

Biographical Information[edit]

Tom D'Alesandro was a long-time politician from Baltimore, MD who played an instrumental role in the relocation of the St. Louis Browns to become the Baltimore Orioles in 1953.

The son of Italian immigrants, D'Alesandro first worked as an insurance and real estate broker before being elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1926, while still in his early 20s, serving until 1933. After a stint as the state's General Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue, he was elected to the Baltimore City Council in 1935, before winning five successive elections as a Democratic member of the House of Representatives from 1939 to 1947. He resigned that position when he was elected mayor of Baltimore in 1947 and served until 1959. He later served on the Federal Renegotiation Board after being appointed by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. He also contemplated running for Governor of Maryland in 1954, but dropped out of the race when allegations of corruption surfaced implicating a family member. These were never substantiated and he was not formally charged. He also ran unsuccessfully for the United State Senate in 1958, before being defeated as mayor the following year.

In 1953, he headed a local ownership group that bought Bill Veeck's controlling shares in the Browns and moved the franchise to Baltimore. Veeck had himself sought to make such a move, but by then had alienated enough other American League owners that they refused to approve the move, forcing him to sell out. The sale was announced on September 29, 1953, and the team's move was approved immediately. The Brown took on the "Orioles" nickname, long associated with baseball teams in the city, both major league and minor league, and began play in Memorial Stadium at the start of the 1954 season. While he was initially the public face of the ownership group, D'Alesandro did not play an active role in the management of the team after the move, as majority shareholders Clarence Miles and Jerold Hoffberger took care of day-to-day business, with Hoffberger eventually buying out the shares of the smaller investors.

His son, Thomas D'Alesandro III, followed him into politics and also served as mayor of Baltimore, while his daughter, Nancy Pelosi, had a brilliant political career in California culminating in her being elected as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

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