Clarence Miles (June 29, 1897 – October 8, 1977) was the chairman of
the board and president of the
Baltimore Orioles of the American
League during the 1954 and 1955 seasons.
Miles was a native of the Eastern Shore. He had gone to school with
Wallis Warfield. In 1924, he founded what would become one of
Baltimore's more prominent law firms, Miles & Stockbridge.
In 1952, he joined forces with Mayor Tommy D'Alesandro to bring a
major league team to Baltimore. After a year of searching, they found
an apparent candidate in the moribund St. Louis Browns. Their owner,
Bill Veeck, had recently been broadsided by the sale of the St. Louis
Cardinals to Anheuser-Busch. While Veeck had mounted a considerable
effort over the past two years to drive the Cardinals out of St.
Louis, he'd concluded he could not possibly compete against a team
with Anheuser-Busch's resources behind it and was looking to move
Veeck had wanted to move the Browns to Baltimore himself for the 1953
season, but was voted down. After the season, Veeck cut a deal with
Miles and D'Alesandro in which Miles and other Baltimore investors
would buy half of Veeck's 80 percent stake in the Browns, with Veeck
remaining as principal owner. The proposal required six out of eight
owners to vote in favor, but at an owners' meeting in New York City on
September 27, only four voted aye, reportedly because Yankees co-owner
Del Webb was rounding up support to move the Browns to Los Angeles.
Miles realized that the owners merely wanted Veeck out of the way. In
48 hours, he lined up enough support from several of the Baltimore
investors in the original deal with Veeck—such as brewer Jerold
Hoffberger, investment banker
Joseph Iglehart and real estate
developer James Keelty—to buy out Veeck's interest for $2.5 million.
This deal, along with the planned move to Baltimore, was unanimously
approved. Almost immediately, Miles announced the team would be
renamed the Orioles.
With his fellow investors both frustrated with his domination of the
team's business operations and dissatisfied with a pair of
seventh-place finishes, Miles resigned in early November, 1955. Keelty
succeeded him as president with Iglehart becoming board chairman.
Miles died in Queenstown, Maryland, in October 1977.
^ Miller, James Edward. The Baseball Business. Chapel Hill, NC: The
University of North Carolina Press, 1990.
Principal owners of the
Baltimore Orioles franchise
Milwaukee Brewers (1901)
St. Louis Browns (1902–1953)
Phil Ball estate
Donald Lee Barnes
Baltimore Orioles (1954–present)
Jerold Hoffberger & Clarence Miles
Jerold Hoffberger & James Keelty
Jerold Hoffberger & Joe Iglehart
Edward Bennett Williams