Pat Malone on promoting Washington DC at MLB Expansion meeting –
“I just took my whole script and I chucked it . . . I gave my pitch from a passionate fan’s point of view of why Washington should have baseball back in DC. When the meeting was over, George Steinbrenner, he comes up to me and says, ‘Pat, I got to tell you something. When you took that script and you whipped it in the trash, I looked around the table, and everybody is now watching what you were saying and they were listening to what you were saying.'”
A Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen and this is Our Town. We have a special guest today that I attribute the idea, and you can live with it, audience, or not. This man is more responsible than anybody I know
to bring baseball back to Washington. When I first met this young man, he was a Sergeant in the United States Air Force. I said, “He ought to be defending us instead of promoting baseball,” but there he was. That’s Pat Malone. Pat, welcome to Our Town.
The Early Years
Pat Malone: Andy, thank you so much. I want to tell you something. I’m just overjoyed to be here, really, because this is a part of Our Town which you and I both as Washingtonians- you’re a fourth-generation Washingtonian. I’m a second-generation Washingtonian. This is just beautiful. I’m really happy to be here with you.
A Ockershausen: Pat, it’s about Our Town and you’re such a big part of Our Town and I know that. I’ll get back to that Air Force uniform first and last. Pat, you’re from Punta Gorda, Florida?
Pat Malone: Well, I’m from here. I was born at Georgetown University Hospital, so I’m a second-generation Washingtonian.
A Ockershausen: What were you doing in Florida?
Pat Malone: Dad said you couldn’t play golf in the winter, so we moved to Florida.
A Ockershausen: Was he a government employee at the time?
Pat Malone: No, Dad was a golf pro.
A Ockershausen: I didn’t know that.
Pat Malone: Yeah, sure. He was up at Burning Tree with Max Elbin. He was at Norbeck with Henry Girardi.
A Ockershausen: He had all the good clubs then.
Pat Malone: Absolutely. Yeah, yeah.
A Ockershausen: I used to play a lot at clubs and never, like Nat Allbright. You remember Nat of course?
Pat Malone: Yeah, sure.
A Ockershausen: Your dad went to Florida and you went with him and you were born in Florida?
Pat Malone: No, I was born in DC.
A Ockershausen: And moved to Punta Gorda.
Pat Malone: Yup. I actually …
A Ockershausen: Went to high school in Sarasota.
Pat Malone: Sarasota and in Punta Gorda, yup.
A Ockershausen: You graduated and you said … Why did you come back? Your dad came back to Washington?
Pat Malone: No. Actually what happened was I had a graduation present. It was either a 1970 Chevy Impala, a convertible cherried-out, or a one-way ticket back to Washington DC. I looked up and I saw that one-way ticket. I wanted to come home.
A Ockershausen: You got back to Our Town.
Pat Malone: I came back to Our Town.
A Ockershausen: Thank God for that. I’m sort of a, what do you call it? A weirdo. I never left Our Town. Every place I’ve ever been, I always thought Washington was a lot better than any place I could be.
Pat Malone: I’ll tell you, Andy, it’s when you leave Our Town you really appreciate Our Town.
A Ockershausen: You know it and I know it, Pat. Then you went to school at American University.
Pat Malone: Yup. Went to AU. Go Eagles.
A Ockershausen: You’re a marketing manager. It got you in the Air Force.
Military Service – United States Air Force
Pat Malone: I joined the Air Force. I was actually at Greendale Golf Course in Fairfax County, in the Alexandria part of Fairfax County. I joined the Air Force in 1978 and retired in 1998.
A Ockershausen: You got 20 years.
Pat Malone: 20 years. Yup.
A Ockershausen: You enlisted.
Pat Malone: I enlisted.
A Ockershausen: You weren’t drafted.
Pat Malone: I wasn’t drafted.
A Ockershausen: Did you ever serve out of the city of Washington, or were you always at the Pentagon?
Pat Malone: I started out in California. Spent a couple of years out in California. A friend of mine, Barry Solomon, who was in the Air Force at the time, said, “Hey, if I ever need you at the Pentagon, I’m going to give you a call.” I figured, this guy, I’ll never see him. Three months later, he’s calling me. He goes, “Hey, do you want to come to the Pentagon?” I said, “I can’t leave California soon enough.” Now, I was at March Air Force Base in Southern California.
A Ockershausen: I know March. I was in March when I was in the Air Force. We were stationed there for a short time. I know it so well. I go by it a lot, going to other places. Pat, when did the baseball bug bite you?
Pat Malone: I have to tell you, Andy. It’s ironic, is when I came back to DC and I’m heading to the Pentagon one day. I was listening to WTOP. I heard a very good friend of mind, and you know him very well, Phil Wood.
A Ockershausen: Yeah. Talk show guy.
Pat Malone: Absolutely. Phil worked. Matter of fact, Dave Johnson, who’s another good friend of mind and friend of ours, Phil was at WTOP and he was doing the morning sports coverage. There was something about baseball. He just started to wax eloquently about the Senators. I’m driving to work and I thought to myself, “Wow. Here’s a guy who really, he gets it.” I called up Phil and we started … A couple of years later, I started the Washington Senators Fan Club.
Pat Malone – Mr. Baseball
A Ockershausen: He is Mr. Baseball. I know that.
Pat Malone: He is.
A Ockershausen: He worked at a lot of places. As a matter of fact, Phil used to substitute on occasion from Ken Beatrice. When you came back, that was practically when Ken was at his zenith in the Navy.
Pat Malone: Right. Absolutely. The funny thing about Ken is, I used to listen to him when he was up in Boston.
A Ockershausen: That’s right. WBZ in Boston.
Pat Malone: Yeah. I used to catch him at night. I thought to myself, “Wow. Listen to this guy. Where’s he …”
A Ockershausen: Terrible accent.
Pat Malone: He’s always, you know …
A Ockershausen: Awful.
Pat Malone: “I’m not as bad as Morris Siegel. I know Andy Pollin was doing a little Morris Siegel.” If anybody remembers Andy, God bless them.
A Ockershausen: The bug bit you by starting the …
The Washington Senators Fan Club
Pat Malone: The Washington Senators Fan Club was in 1984. I started at Champions with Michael O’Harro on December 1, 1984, but it really started back in 1975. I came back to DC, and we had been four years without baseball. I got involved with a guy who used to be the Mayor of Alexandria, Frank Mann.
A Ockershausen: Frank E. Mann.
Pat Malone: Yeah, absolutely. He was the raconteur.
A Ockershausen: Yeah, man. How about a potato chip? Frank E. Mann was a very dear friend of mine.
Pat Malone: He was a great guy.
A Ockershausen: I know he was mayor.
Pat Malone: Sure, yeah. He wanted to bring baseball back to DC. He started a group called Home Run, Incorporated, and had a whole bunch of …
A Ockershausen: He had Alexandria Grandstand Managers behind him.
Pat Malone: Yup.
A Ockershausen: They had a lot of weight. You conjured up the idea to bring back the Senators Fan Club.
Pat Malone: Yeah, that was in …
A Ockershausen: That fan club.
Pat Malone: Right. The whole effort was to identify with the name Washington Senators, because people could say, “Okay, we had baseball here from 1901 until 1971.” They had that history. You couldn’t come up with any other name. I said, “It’s got to be the Washington Senators Fan Club,” but really, the whole emphasis for the Washington Senators Fan Club was to bring baseball back to DC.
A Ockershausen: Absolutely. The name wasn’t as important as getting the team back.
Pat Malone: Absolutely. Absolutely.
A Ockershausen: When did the Washington Senators use the name Washington Nationals? Because I remember the Nats when I grew up, too.
Pat Malone: Sure.
A Ockershausen: They used that at the same time as the Senators.
Pat Malone: They did. Actually, historically, I believe in 1905, they adopted the name Washington Nationals. The Senators were really their second nickname or what have you.
A Ockershausen: Is that right? I didn’t know that, Pat. That’s great information.
Pat Malone: Right, so there was a period. I can’t remember the exact dates of when they transitioned to using Senators formally. It was sometime, I guess it was in the ’40s or ’50s where they locked on to Senators, but they still were called the Nats. It was something that …
A Ockershausen: It’s a good nickname. The Nats, a great nickname, I think. Let me ask you this. You went to school at Maryland for a while, went to the marketing course at the university. You still consider yourself an AU person.
Pat Malone: Yeah. Absolutely.
A Ockershausen: It’s in Our Town.
Pat Malone: It’s in Our Town. Right, right, right, right. College Park was a little bit much of a drive, yeah.
A Ockershausen: When you started the Senators Club, you did that at Michael O’Harroat Champions? Is that when you started it?
Pat Malone: Yup. We would have a lot of our meetings, we would start up with Joan Hisaoka, who unfortunately passed away from cancer not so long ago.
A Ockershausen: She was from Miller Brewing, wasn’t it? Is that who she worked for? Miller High Life?
Pat Malone: I think she worked with Miller Brewing, yeah. Then she worked with Mike. We started at Champions. Then another good friend of ours, Richard Danker, had Danker’s Restaurant. He had two restaurants. He had one at 12th and E, and he had one at 6th and School Street, near DOT. We would have our Washington Senators Fan Club meetings either at Champions or at Danker’s.
A Ockershausen: You were so instrumental in pushing the idea that Washington not only needed a team, but would support a team.
Pat Malone: Absolutely. Andy, I even …
A Ockershausen: Guys were running around in these jerseys. I thought they were all nuts, Washington Senators. Said, we got no chance, but little did I know that there was a chance and we had to work at it. I told you the story and I’ll tell it now that I was told by a third party, like Morris Siegel, that Bowie Kuhn told him 30, 40 years ago, “If Washington gets a team, it’s going to be somebody like the Lerners.”
Pat Malone: Sure.
A Ockershausen: Because baseball likes family. They like families to own it. They hit the nail on the head, of course, but they didn’t get the expansion. This was the expansion they were talking about.
Pat Malone: Sure. You know, I’ll tell you, Andy, it’s one of those things where the whole depth of my involvement really was to try to keep the flame alive.
A Ockershausen: You did, Pat.
Pat Malone: During the ’80s and ’90s, if you would watch Redskins games, people you would see baseball in DC.
A Ockershausen: Didn’t you fly an airplane around the stadium?
Pat Malone: Right. I would hire ad planes to fly over.
A Ockershausen: Seargent in the United States Air Force. Supposed to be protecting me.
Pat Malone: Pulling money out of my pocket. I have to tell you, this is a funny story.
A Ockershausen: Good thing your father was rich.
Pat Malone: Yeah, absolutely. God bless my dad. In Seattle, God, I keep trying to think of the year now. The All Star game was in Seattle. Barry Goldwater took over from Jim Dalrymple. Jim Dalrymple was the general manager of RFK.
A Ockershausen: Bobby Goldwater.
Pat Malone: Bobby Goldwater. Did I say Barry? Wow. That was a Freudian slip.
A Ockershausen: Thank God for Barry Goldwater.
Pat Malone: Absolutely. Bobby Goldwater, anyway. There was a DC delegation that was at the All Star game out in Seattle.
A Ockershausen: You were part of the group?
Bobby Goldwater – RFK Stadium – Airplane Ads
Pat Malone: No, no, no, no. I hired an airplane. Bobby catches wind of it. He says, “Listen, we’re really gun shy about this. We don’t want to have this tied in with us.” I said, “Okay, no problem.” He said, “No problem?” I said, “No problem.” I hung up the phone. I called up to the ad agency. I said, “I want this thing to say: Pat Malone says bring baseball back to DC.” It was the only time … I mean, I’m spending thousands of dollars to try and promote the effort to bring baseball back to DC. It’s the only time I ever put my name, where it says ‘Pat Malone says bring baseball back to DC.’ Bobby actually looked up and he saw the plane flying over the stadium. He goes, he says, “Yeah, that worked.”
A Ockershausen: When was that? In the mid ’80s? The mid ’90s?
Pat Malone: No. You know, I’ll tell you what. I think it was 2000, because in 2001 … no, I think it might have been ’99.
A Ockershausen: Was the kid still playing for … It was a World Series game in Seattle?
Pat Malone: It was a World Series game. Might have been the…
A Ockershausen: Ken Griffey was with that team, I think.
Pat Malone: Right. Yeah, yeah.
A Ockershausen: Bobby was very helpful and instrumental, as you know, in this whole deal, and still is. They were very apprehensive about irritating Major League owners too much. They were afraid of them. For some reason, they didn’t want to overkill, and that’s the reason they were worried about the airplane.
How Pat Malone Brought Baseball Back to DC
Pat Malone: I had gone to the baseball winter meetings from 1985 to 1989. I would go and try to promote. Sometimes I was a one-man band.
A Ockershausen: You were. I went to Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York, the commission with Frank Smith, thank God, to all of them. Pat Malone was always there.
MLB Owners’ Only Meeting – Thank Goodness for Larry Lucchino
Pat Malone: I got to tell you something. Frank Smith and I went to the 1989 baseball winter meetings in Nashville, Tennessee. It was in Opry Land. I look at the schedule and I’m reading the schedule and there’s a meeting that I said, “Man, Frank, we’ve got to get down to this meeting.” He goes, “What is it?” I said, “I don’t know. It’s at 7:00 and it’s Major League owners. Let’s go.” Larry Lucchino was there.
A Ockershausen: Yeah.
Pat Malone: You know Larry.
A Ockershausen: Very well.
Pat Malone: Larry sees me and he goes … Larry Lucchino, by the way, used to be the president of the Baltimore Orioles, which I believe at the time …
A Ockershausen: For Edward Bennett Williams.
Pat Malone: Edward Bennett Williams.
A Ockershausen: They were law partners, too.
Pat Malone: Right. Sure, with Williams & Connolly here in Washington, in our town.
A Ockershausen: Our town.
Pat Malone: Larry Lucchino … By the way, this was an owners only meeting. Owners only meeting.
A Ockershausen: Half the…
Pat Malone: Larry Lucchino goes, “Hey, here’s Pat Malone busting my party.” Frank turns around and goes, “I don’t think we’re supposed to be here.” I said, “Okay.”
A Ockershausen: You’re inside, baby.
Pat Malone: Right. Larry says, “I’m from Washington DC.” He says, “I want you guys to make me proud.” When we went in, we saw all the owners talking to all the guys. They all said, “You guys don’t have a money guy. You guys don’t have any …” At the time, this was 1989.
A Ockershausen: That was true.
Pat Malone: Yeah.
A Ockershausen: They were all scared of that.
Pat Malone: Right, right.
A Ockershausen: They let you stay?
Pat Malone: Yeah. I’ll tell you what. They let us stay. We gave our pitch for baseball in DC. But you know, it was really falling on deaf ears, because you had the Orioles. That was the biggest thing, that they didn’t want to hurt the Orioles. That was their biggest …
A Ockershausen: No question about it.
Pat Malone: Sure, sure. Yeah.
A Ockershausen: When we were doing the Orioles broadcast on Comcast, the Home Team Sports, we were sort of in a dilemma. We wanted a baseball team in Washington, because our thought was, Pat, and it was so wrong. We’re going to take a break here now. I’m going to tell you what we did and what we failed to do to keep the Orioles and the Nats with us. This is Our Town with Pat Malone. I’ll be right back.
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Announcer: You’re listening to Our Town, with Andy Ockershausen, brought to you by Best Bark Communications.
A Ockershausen: I’m Andy Ockershausen. This is Our Town with Pat Malone. We were talking about the Orioles and the Nats and the Senators, but most of the Orioles as a group and the people that ran it, Edward Bennett Williams at one time was going to move the Orioles. Did you know that?
Pat Malone: Absolutely. Yeah.
A Ockershausen: He wanted to bring them back to Washington. Then Mayor Donald Schaffer stood up and said, “We’re going to build you the greatest baseball stadium in America,” and they did it. They stayed. Larry did a great job. Larry Lucchino ends up going with the Red Sox. Not a bad move.
Pat Malone: No, it was a great move for Larry.
A Ockershausen: We had the Orioles on Comcast SportsNet, Home Team Sports.
Pat Malone: Home Team Sports, yeah.
Home Team Sports Outfoxed by Peter Angelos – Baltimore Orioles
A Ockershausen: We wanted a team desperately because we could split the fee. A fee for Washington, a fee to Baltimore, and we’d be the broadcaster for it, but Mr. Angelos outfoxed us by making a deal, because he scared the owners. They didn’t want to deal with him legally, so they said, “All right, we’ll protect you.” They gave him a clause, a drop dead clause that he can’t lose money on his team, and we’re going to keep Washington and give you the broadcast rights. Unheard of.
Pat Malone: Totally unheard of.
A Ockershausen: It thwarted us, but I was so happy to prove that we were right though, Pat. Baltimore stands on its own now.
Pat Malone: It does.
A Ockershausen: Their attendance is very good.
Larry King – Houston Astros Moving to Washington DC
Pat Malone: It is. It is. Speaking about that whole time period, and there’s a million stories I could tell you, but there was one of them where Larry King, the great Larry King. Larry calls me up and he says, “Hey, Pat.” He says, “Come on up to Baltimore.” He says, “There’s a game tonight.” He says, “I’m going to be sitting up in the owner’s box. I’m going to sit up in Peter’s box,” Peter Angelos. He says, “I got something to tell you. I can’t tell you on the phone.” I thought to myself, “Wow.”
A Ockershausen: Yeah you’ve got to do that.
Pat Malone: I’m going up there, and he was sitting with one of his ex-wives. I can’t remember which one. God bless Larry. Anyway, I think it was Sarah.
A Ockershausen: He’s a hoot.
Pat Malone: He was. He still is. Larry says, “Hey, Pat. Come here. I got a story.” He says, “You’re not going to believe this. The Houston Astros are moving to Washington DC. You can bank on it. It’s happening. It’s going to happen.”
A Ockershausen: Absolutely. He’s the one that started that too.
Pat Malone: Right, right. Absolutely.
A Ockershausen: They’re coming. Somebody here, I think it was Chris Core made those cards and put me on the card, remember? The Houston Astros coming to Washington. It was that prevalent that it was happening, and then it fell apart. The guy was from New Jersey, wasn’t it, that owned the Astros? In the shipping business or something.
Pat Malone: I think so.
A Ockershausen: They decided to stay. They built them a stadium and did everything to keep them.
Pat Malone: Minute Maid Park, yeah.
A Ockershausen: He was right. Larry, he broke it around the world, didn’t he?
Pat Malone: He did.
A Ockershausen: The Astros are coming to Washington.
Pat Malone: If you look at the whole aspect of different teams, Washington …
A Ockershausen: The owner was coming too.
Pat Malone: Yeah, he was coming too. He wasn’t going to sell.
A Ockershausen: He was the money guy.
Pat Malone: He was the money guy. He was coming in. There were so many stadiums that Washington built, because the Oakland A’s were supposed to move here. Of course, they still don’t have a new stadium, but the San Francisco Giants were supposed to come here.
A Ockershausen: They use them. Everybody in Washington…
Pat Malone: Exactly. exactly, you know?
A Ockershausen: They used them. Larry was a big supporter of baseball for Washington. I know that. We talked about it. He did the color on when it was, Home Team Sports. He did the Orioles color for us. Larry still, we stay in touch with him. We have him on Our Town when he comes through town. Every time he sees Janice, he wants to know how I am. Worried about my health.
Pat Malone: I’ll tell you what. Larry still is doing interviews. He’s still making a…
A Ockershausen: He’s still alive. He’s kicking.
Pat Malone: He’s still making a great mark for the business.
A Ockershausen: He’s got kids.
Pat Malone: Yeah.
A Ockershausen: Absolutely.
Pat Malone: He’s doing great.
A Ockershausen: Pat, tell us now about where do you go now with your group and your effort. Do you have a Nats fan club? Are you running that?
Pat Malone: No. You know what, I’ll tell you …
A Ockershausen: Did they push you away?
Pat Malone: No, they didn’t push me.
A Ockershausen: Tell me the story.
Pat Malone: There was a nascent effort to put together something like the Washington Senators Fan Club with the Nationals. I had backed away, because I said, “You know, this is something where I really want to see fans who, I want to see it nurtured from the ground up.” I thought, this has got to be something where if you’re going to start something, let’s just have the embryonic season ticket holders, fans who just really just want to give their passion to becoming a part of the organization. I kind of backed away from the Washington Senators Fan Club and let the whole thing just kind of move forward.
A Ockershausen: Let somebody take it.
Pat Malone: Exactly.
A Ockershausen: That doesn’t happen without you or somebody like you, Pat, because the team owning a fan club is not the same thing as a fan owning a fan club.
Pat Malone: Honestly, I don’t even know if there’s a Washington Nationals fan club.
A Ockershausen: I don’t either.
Pat Malone: I don’t think so.
A Ockershausen: We’ll research that. We ought to do something about that.
Pat Malone: Yeah.
A Ockershausen: Find out why. We’re still involved with the team through the Sports Hall of Fame. You should be in that too, Pat.
Pat Malone: Thank you.
A Ockershausen: That’s my problem baby. It’s been so great for us to see people coming out of, not the woodwork, but out of the past to join this fan club. I’m very happy about it, to be associated with the baseball team or be in the stadium.
Pat Malone: I want to share a quick story. Here’s something where I, you know, during the different times that we would be involved with the different escapades that you and I would both do, there was one Redskins game where I remember you came out of the press box. You were so prideful of WMAL. I mean, no. You had taken a sticker that said ‘Redskins Radio, WMAL’ and you put it right on the door. I’m going to sound like Rain Man when I’m telling you, but I remember, because you did it right in front of me. You said, “WMAL baby.” I said, “Absolutely.” It’s one of those things where, Andy, when you look at the whole different aspect of so many people that were involved. I just mentioned Jim Dalrymple was the …
A Ockershausen: God, yes.
Pat Malone: By the way …
A Ockershausen: Marion Barry financed a lot of our effort. You remember that.
Pat Malone: I got a real quick story about …
A Ockershausen: Marion gave us money.
Pat Malone: He did. Here’s the thing. Jim Dalrymple had, RFK was a money making operation for the city of Alexandria.
A Ockershausen: The only thing the city had, that and parking tickets.
Pat Malone: Right, right, right.
A Ockershausen: The city of Washington.
Jim Dalrymple, Mayor Marion Barry, Mo Siegel and Pat Malone – Money for RFK
Pat Malone: One day I come into Jim’s office. He’s really upset. He’s talking to Marion Barry. Marion Barry, for all of our listeners, used to be the Mayor of Washington. Jim needed some money and Marion wasn’t going to give him some money for something that he wanted to do at RFK. Jim was just all forlorn. Jim’s going to be listening to this. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but I called Mo, Mo Siegel. Mo Siegel was a sports writer for the Washington Times. I said, “Mo, I got a story for you.” Of course, he lived in Tunlaw.
A Ockershausen: Yeah, at the…
Pat Malone: Right. I go over to Mo’s place, right around the corner from the Russian embassy. Morrie goes, “All right, Pat. Give me the story.” I told him that Jim Dalrymple wanted to do improvements at RFK and that Marion wasn’t giving him the money. The next day, on the front page of the Washington Times sports page, was this big expose about … I go into Jim’s office. This is a true story. Jim’s on the phone. He puts the phone down. He goes, “Hey, I don’t know how this story got in the paper, but I got my money.”
A Ockershausen: The power of the press, right?
Pat Malone: Absolutely.
A Ockershausen: Meet the press. We did get money from the city. Marion was very helpful. Frank Smith led the effort. I went to the meetings. Like you were saying, the owners were so weird. We went to a meeting in New York where we heard one word from George Steinbrenner. Then Peter Ueberroth then was the commissioner. He came back and said, “Don’t pay any attention to him.” I mean, they were doing things like that. Then we met the guy from San Francisco, the jean guy. Who was the guy from San Francisco Giants?
Pat Malone: I can’t think of his name, but I know who you’re talking about. Yeah.
A Ockershausen: What is it, world’s greatest jeans?
Pat Malone: Levi’s. Yeah.
A Ockershausen: Levi’s.
Pat Malone: Right, right, right.
A Ockershausen: They own the San Francisco Giants. They said, “We want a team in Washington, but we don’t want to Giants. We want to leave the Giants.” The Giants have done pretty well.
Pat Malone: They have done. They have done.
A Ockershausen: Oh, boy.
MLB Expansion Meeting – Pat Malone’s Unleashes His Passion for Baseball in Washington
Pat Malone: In 1993, they had a meeting in Chicago. It was at the O’Hare Hilton, and it was an expansion meeting. There was a group of us who actually went up to the meeting. For the life of me, I can’t think of the guy who was speaking before me. We were speaking in front of Major League owners about the pitch to bring baseball back to DC, and by the way, there was people there from Arizona and there was people there from, everybody who was trying to, all different cities at the time was trying to make their pitch.
A Ockershausen: Arizona got that, right?
Pat Malone: Arizona got it.
A Ockershausen: Colangelo got that deal.
Pat Malone: Right, right. Whoever was before me was so bad. He was so bad. I actually took my script and I just chucked it in the trash can. I got to tell you, when you do that, people then say, “Wow.” If you ever …
A Ockershausen: Washington is afire…
Pat Malone: I just took my whole script and I chucked it so hard, because the guy, he was just so bad. I gave my pitch from a passionate fan’s point of view of why Washington should have baseball back in DC. When the meeting was over, George Steinbrenner, he comes up to me and he goes, he says, “Pat, I got to tell you something.” He said, “When you took that script and you whipped it in the trash,” he said, “I looked around the table, and everybody is now watching what you were saying and they were listening to what you were saying.”
A Ockershausen: They’re paying attention to you, Pat.
Pat Malone: Exactly.
A Ockershausen: You got their attention.
Pat Malone: That’s what I wanted to do, Andy.
A Ockershausen: You’re an amazing man, Pat.
Pat Malone: No, no, no.
A Ockershausen: He’s a sergeant in the United States Air Force and he’s running Major League Baseball meetings. It was great. Did you ever wear your uniform? No.
Pat Malone: To the DC baseball commission, yes, but not to Major League Baseball. Actually, Jeffrey Gildenhorn, you know Jeff.
A Ockershausen: Do I know Jeff!
Washington Senators – Major League Baseball Beer
Pat Malone: We got called in. I was at the Pentagon one day and I got a call from the general counsel for Major League Baseball, saying, “Hey, we want to see you up in New York City.” I said, “I think you’ve got the wrong guy.” I said, “There’s a lot of people to call in the Pentagon.” He said, “No, no, no. We want to see you and Jeffrey Gildenhorn. We want to see both of you.” What happened was Jeffrey had come up with this thing called Washington Senators Beer. Major League Beer. We were calling it Major League Beer, and of course, they were a little upset about it, and so they wanted to talk to us.
A Ockershausen: Major League Baseball wanted a piece of the pie.
Pat Malone: Absolutely, yeah. We got on the Trump Shuttle. I’ll never forget it. We take the Trump Shuttle up and we went to Major League Baseball’s offices. We were sitting there with Tom Ostertag.
A Ockershausen: Park Avenue? Is that where they were?
Pat Malone: Park Avenue, yup. They’re talking about suing us. Here I am, like Andy says. I’m a sergeant in the Air Force. Here’s Jeff Gildenhorn. Major League Baseball says, “All right. We’re going to sue you. We’re suing you for big six figures. We’re just really going to sue you.” To Jeff’s credit, Jeff looks around and he says, “You know,” he says, “I’m looking at these lawyers.” By the way, there was six or seven lawyers there. He goes, “Now, you’re paying these guys about $500 or $600 an hour.” He says, “Now, the only guy I brought with me was him,” and he’s pointing to me. He says, “All I did was pay for his airfare and I’m buying him lunch at the Stage Deli.”
A Ockershausen: A must stop.
Pat Malone: Yeah, yeah. Then he says, “The money I’m saving, I’m going to go back to Washington DC.” He says, “I’m going to find a beautiful blonde.” He says, “I’m going to take her to a show and I’m going to take her to dinner, and we’re just going to have a great time with the money that I’m saving by bringing Pat Malone instead of a lawyer.” I’m thinking to myself, “Wow, thanks a lot, Jeff.”
A Ockershausen: He brought the federal government with him and nobody knew it. The tales that you tell are all so true, because that made an impression that this city had enthusiasm for baseball.
Pat Malone: Right. That was the whole thing, was to really …
A Ockershausen: To show that we cared about baseball.
Pat Malone: Absolutely. Absolutely.
A Ockershausen: We’re going to take another break here, Pat, and be back, finish our stories because I know the Gildehorn story. Janice and I went to the opening of the Gildenhorn’s restaurant with the aforementioned Mo Siegel. It was so crowded, Siegel said, “We’re not staying here.” He went up to Gildenhorn and said, “Give me $20. We’re going to to eat somewhere else.” That’s a true story. We left with $20.
Pat Malone: Wow.
A Ockershausen: That’s our story from Our Town. This is Andy Ockershausen. We’ll be right back.
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Announcer: You’re listening to Our Town with Andy Ockershausen.
MLB back in Our Town – Washington Nationals
A Ockershausen: We’re back on Our Town with Pat Malone to talk about some of the great things that’s happened and are going to happen to Our Town. Now, you must be completely in heaven with a baseball team in a beautiful stadium.
Pat Malone: Andy, I am. Beautiful stadium, and it’s just one of those things where even though we lost this year, we’re in a better situation than we were, having 34 years without baseball.
A Ockershausen: We’ve got a team.
Pat Malone: We have a team. Yeah, they didn’t make it to …
A Ockershausen: A contender, too.
Pat Malone: Absolutely.
A Ockershausen: The playoffs are something special. We’ve been in the playoffs. The worm will eventually turn. If you get up to bat enough, you eventually get a hit, right?
Pat Malone: It’s going to happen. I think they had injuries and everything, but hey, look. It’s one of those things where it’s just a joy to be a part of being a fan of the Washington Nationals. I just thoroughly enjoy it. Thoroughly enjoy it.
A Ockershausen: There’s no fan club yet. We ought to look into that.
The Alexandria Aces
Pat Malone: I’ll tell you what, the other thing I was going to mention to you, next year is going to be our tenth season. The Alexandria Aces …
A Ockershausen: That was your minor league team.
Pat Malone: We started it 10 years ago. Myself, Don Dinan, who lives up on Capitol Hill. Right now we’ve got Dave DeSilva, who’s our head coach. Lou Nolan is our general manager. Kimmy McCarthy is our assistant general manager. Those three really are running the Aces.
A Ockershausen: It’s a summer league, correct?
Pat Malone: It’s a summer league, nonprofit.
A Ockershausen: Kids?
Pat Malone: Kids come in from … Well, kids. They’re 18 to 22.
A Ockershausen: They’re kids.
Pat Malone: Yeah. They’re coming in from different colleges and universities. They’re playing wooden bat baseball in Alexandria for the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League, which we’ve got teams. There’s 10 teams. We’re all over the DC metro area.
A Ockershausen: It’s a shame that we lost Frank Mann. He’d have been very helpful with that effort.
Pat Malone: Yeah. Frank Mann actually, yeah.
A Ockershausen: I’ve been to your stadium. I know what’s going. The Alexandria Grandstand Managers, when that thing first started, way before the league, they were pushing baseball. The Dukes, right?
Pat Malone: Absolutely. The Dukes.
A Ockershausen: In Alexandria. It’s the Minor League team. Tell me about you, Pat, because I was so dismayed when I found out that you had a cancer attack. I don’t mean attack… but … How did I find out? Maybe Michael O’Harro might have told me or our friend, Danker or somebody. I said, “That’s impossible, because he’s around all the time.” They said, “Well, you better keep your eye on him.”
The Fight of His Life – Cancer
Pat Malone: Sure. What happened, the short story where everybody says thank you, was that one day I came back from Virginia Beach. I felt some pains in my chest. This is in the summer of 2013. I’m sorry, 2013, yeah. I had went to the Ft. Belvoir Community Hospital. I said, “Something is wrong.”
A Ockershausen: You were out of the Air Force by then?
Pat Malone: I was out of the Air Force, yeah. They were looking and they couldn’t find anything. It turns out that I had a tumor that was in my upper right chest. We fast forward to December 29th of 2013. I had to move a dresser in the house. I lifted up the dresser, and when I lifted up the dresser, it caused the tumor to bleed into itself. At 4:00 in the morning, I wake up and I go, wow, man, I got something going on in my chest. My dad, being the jock doctor that he is, Dr. Charlie Malone, he says, “You got a hematoma.” He says, “Don’t worry about it.” He says, “I used to get those things. Don’t worry about it.” Two weeks later, I still have this pain in my chest, and now it’s protruding out. I go back to …
A Ockershausen: You had internal bleeding.
Pat Malone: Internal bleeding, but I didn’t realize it. I went back to Ft. Belvoir Community Hospital. They did seven hours of investigative work to try to find out what it was. They couldn’t figure it out. They said, “You got to go to Walter Reed.” The next day, I go to Walter Reed. I get an ultrasound needle biopsy. Then a week later, I got a phone call from Dr. William Faillace. He’s over at Walter Reed. He’s a great neurosurgeon. He says, “You have cancer, and you have what’s called … There’s 200 forms of cancer. You have the 199th rarest. It’s called a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor.” He said, “We may have to …” He said this right on the first phone call. He said, “We may have to remove your right arm.” I said, “Wow.” I got kind of emotional. Even thinking about it now, it brings back the …
A Ockershausen: I would assume so.
Pat Malone: Right. I have to say this, Andy.
A Ockershausen: You had a fight coming up.
Pat Malone: I had a fight. It was a big fight. I would go to Walter Reed. I was there every day. They did MRIs. They did CAT scans, PET scans, anything you can think of. Dr. Faillace says, “We’ve got three dates. We’re going to do either the 3rd,” I think it was the 4th. “The 4th of February, the 11th or the 18th.” I said, “Can we put it off until May or June or July?” He goes, “Why?” I said, “My dad might want to come up from North Carolina, and I’m scared. I don’t want to have this surgery.” He goes, “Is your dad a neurosurgeon?” I go, “No. He’s a former PGA golf pro.” He says, “Well, I don’t need him.” He said, “So you got to pick a date.” I picked February 11th. I had the surgery. There was, from what I understand, 20 different surgeons that were working on me for seven hours. Nerve …
A Ockershausen: Wow. You’re worth more than you thought.
Pat Malone: I guess so, yeah. It was seven hours of nonstop surgery. When everything was done, I woke up at 4:26 in the afternoon on February 11th, so that’s my second birthday. I wanted to tell you that I also do fundraising for Stand Up to Cancer. Stand Up to Cancer is a nationally known effort. Katie Couric had put it together with a lot of other people.
A Ockershausen: Is your dad involved in that too, because your dad, he’s in recovery too.
Pat Malone: Yeah. Actually, my dad has gone to Duke University Medical Center and got a drug called Keytruda, which is made by Merck. All of his doctors gave their information to Jimmy Carter’s doctors down at Emory. My dad is now, I just talked to him before I came into the studio, completely cancer free.
A Ockershausen: All due to this new drug?
Pat Malone: All due to this drug called Keytruda. K-E-Y-T-R-U-D-A, made by Merck, M-E-R-C-K. Merck is a German pharmaceutical company.
A Ockershausen: We know that.
Pat Malone: Jimmy Carter got the same drug and Jimmy Carter is now cancer …
A Ockershausen: He had a press conference to say I’m now cancer free. Didn’t the governor of Maryland do the same thing?
Pat Malone: Same thing. Same thing.
A Ockershausen: “I am now cancer free.” This new drug …
Pat Malone: It’s really great. I really appreciate you asking about it, because it’s one of those things where we all know somebody who has had cancer.
A Ockershausen: Inevitably almost.
Pat Malone: Inevitably almost. It’s one of those things where when you look, it’s so shocking that only 18% of people who get cancer survive. Only 18%, but as you mentioned earlier before we came to the studio, that number is going up.
A Ockershausen: Yeah. The work that science is doing has been incredible for that. Incredible for you. I’m so glad for you, Pat. All of the people in your life that I know were so cheerful and so happy when they found out that you were addressing the problem and you were going to fight it and you won. That’s great, Pat. You’re still with us.
Pat Malone: Thank you. It’s one of those things where I try to be an inspiration for somebody who, and I’ll tell you what. I’ve had a lot of private conversations from friends who have called me up and said, “I want to get together with you, because I got cancer.”
A Ockershausen: They want to be reassured they can beat it.
Pat Malone: Yeah. I’m getting kind of emotional now, because these are people who, some have passed and some have beaten it. The ones who have beaten it, I can tell you a great guy who works for Larry Hogan is Phil Tran. Phil Tran, I remember him calling me up. I was heading to Annapolis. Phil lives in Annapolis and I was heading to Annapolis. Phil calls me up and goes, “Hey, I got some bad news.” I said, “What happened?” He says, “Hey, I got cancer.” He had an operation. He’s cancer free now, I think for about a year and a half.
A Ockershausen: He’s fighting it.
Pat Malone: He’s fighting it. Yeah.
A Ockershausen: Not rolling over, Pat.
Pat Malone: Absolutely.
A Ockershausen: I’m so glad you did. As I say, your people that I know and I’m close with, everybody is very joyous for you. You’re going to be around and be a pain in the ass again. We all know that and love you, and the people here and the things you’ve done to promote baseball are legendary in this city. As I keep telling your friend Mr. Brotman. You know Mr. Brotman, hates promotion like he hates his right arm. You know that.
Pat Malone: Absolutely. I got to tell you something. I wanted to commend both you and Charlie. When the new stadium opened up, and a lot of people, when you look at baseball in DC, it’s Nationals Park. There’s a great scene I still have in my memory, because I tried to take a picture of you and Charlie on the big screen. It was so … No, no, no. I mean this. Here’s Our Town.
A Ockershausen: That’s it. It was Our Town.
Pat Malone: You and Charlie were standing there. I thought, you guys were champions for the effort to bring baseball back to DC, as well as I was, as well as a lot of us. I said, “Man, I wish I could have got that shot.” Unfortunately, when you’re walking around, you don’t always have the phone ready or the camera ready, but it …
A Ockershausen: It meant so much to Our Town to get baseball, and the long term goodies for Our Town. You got to tell people. There’s more to baseball than just those games. It’s what’s happened to Southwest. It’s what’s happened to the waterfront. It’s what happened to the Anacostia River. It’s our town. It’s exploding.
The Apple is Only as Strong as Its Core
Pat Malone: The whole thing is changing and the whole dynamic is changing. I always have said, if you have a strong Washington DC, all the suburbs are going to be strong as well.
A Ockershausen: Absolutely.
Pat Malone: They’re all going to benefit from that.
A Ockershausen: The apple is only as strong as its core. Used to promote that on WMAL.
Pat Malone: On WMAL.
A Ockershausen: We did, for years. Pat, our whole reason as a broadcast company was to take care of our town. We didn’t call it Our Town, we called it what it was, the nation’s capital. We took care of it. Every talent that appeared on our air was involved in the community. They gave back.
Pat Malone: You reminded me of something, Andy. When I used to go to the baseball winter meetings, I would call WMAL. I would give them an update. “Hey, this is Pat.” Yeah. I would say, “Hey, ladies and gentlemen, this is Pat Malone in San Diego,” or we were in Dallas or you know, different places where we were.
A Ockershausen: The news department loves you. Like the first thing John Matthews jumped up when he saw Pat Malone.
Pat Malone: Baseball in DC.
A Ockershausen: Mr. Baseball showed up.
Pat Malone: I would always call in to WMAL and just give updates. It was really one of those things I always enjoyed. Let me say this. Your experience of what you did with WMAL is legendary in itself. I can tell you that I’m very prideful to do this interview with you.
A Ockershausen: Pat, you’re part of it, Pat. You’re part of what we did and what we were. We lived and breathed the city. We didn’t call it Our Town. My Janice dug that one up, because we did the TV show. Short-lived TV show. It was on for three years.
Pat Malone: On channel 50. On channel 50.
A Ockershausen: That’s right.
Pat Malone: See, I remember, because it was…
A Ockershausen: We wanted to make it relevant, that there’s so much out there that people don’t know. I don’t know about you. I found out a lot today I thought I knew about you and I didn’t know. I’m sure that’s true of your friends. I hope they will tune in to Our Town.
Pat Malone: I hope so too.
A Ockershausen: There’s a way to do it. It’s made in Janice’s idea. She made it so easy for people then to find out what Our Town is all about, by doing these podcasts. They’ll live forever, Pat. They’re always there.
Pat Malone: As I mentioned before we came into the studio that this is a part of history where you get verbal. You get somebody who gets a chance to tell their story. I really humbly say thank you so much for giving …
A Ockershausen: Pat, we love you.
Pat Malone: I love you too.
A Ockershausen: Pat Malone. This is Andy Ockershausen on Our Town. We hope that you will really enjoy this thing with Pat, the man that brought baseball to Washington.
Announcer: You’ve been listening to Our Town, season one, with your host, Andy Ockershausen. New Our Town podcast episodes are released each Tuesday and Thursday. We welcome your comments and suggestions on how you like the show or who you’d like to hear from next. Catch us on Facebook at Our Town DC, or visit our website at ourtowndc.com. Our special thanks to WMAL radio in Washington DC for hosting our podcasts.