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Dear Bud: I just don't think so

Top baseball official Bud Selig recently sent letters to members of Congress offering them the chance to purchase two tickets _ for good seats _ at face value to the All-Star Game in Baltimore.

The offer wasn't warmly received.

This is the letter U.S. Rep. Sam Gibbons, D-Tampa, sent back:

Dear Bud:

I cannot say I was pleased to learn of your offer to make available two tickets to the 1993 All-Star Game for purchase by each of the members of Congress.

As you well know, the city of Tampa has been treated in a shabby and, at times, discriminatory manner by Major League Baseball, with respect to the granting of a franchise to the area. The most recent debacle, the owners' reneging on the sale of the San Francisco Giants to Florida investors, was yet another instance of the lack of respect the Tampa area has received from Major League Baseball. The time and efforts of many civic-minded individuals and baseball fans in my district have been wasted due to this sort of lingering bad faith. The city of Tampa deserves a Major League Baseball franchise, and it is high time for your Executive Council to give us one in the next round of expansion.

I would also like to make perfectly clear that this clumsy attempt to curry favor with members of Congress does not sit well with me at all, since I am among the strongest proponents in the Congress for legislation that would revoke the undeserved and unfair exemption from this country's anti-trust laws (that) Major League Baseball presently enjoys.

Let me assure you, I will not be attending the 1993 All-Star Game.


Sam M. Gibbons

United States Congressman