Former Dodgers greats Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser are forming an exploratory ownership group in case their former team goes up for sale.
In the wake of financial struggles that have left the team in limbo, Garvey approached Hershiser and the two launched the Garvey-Hershiser Group.
"We've always talked and communicated through the years," Hershiser, an ESPN analyst, told the Los Angeles Daily News. "He was a little more of a role model for me, the way he did things. I was like, 'That's what I want to do.' He's been a good businessman.
"When he called and said he wanted me to be part of this group, I said, 'Garv, I'd always be interested in helping and doing something like this that would be a lot of fun.' We're forming a group that's investigating situations as they arise. That would be very interesting for me."
Hershiser met with Garvey and other possible investors in Los Angeles on Friday, according to the Daily News.
Hershiser, who lives in Las Vegas, was asked by the newspaper about the group's plans to buy the Dodgers.
"The Dodgers are not for sale," Hershiser replied.
Not for now, at least.
Owner Frank McCourt was able to meet the team's payroll last week with cash advances drawn on the team's corporate sponsorship deals, three sources told ESPN The Magazine's Molly Knight.
But McCourt was still searching for funding to make the team's next payroll on June 15, sources said.
Should the beleaguered owner fail to make payroll, Major League Baseball would cover it for him and likely seize the team formally.
The league appointed a trustee to oversee the Dodgers' finances in April amid McCourt's ongoing divorce proceedings.
"It would be tremendous synergy," Hershiser said, according to the Daily News. "It would pique my interest to the highest level. It's never been a verbal goal or outspoken goal of mine. But you'd dream of this kind of once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I've kept my distance from the organization. They've been very kind to me and getting me tickets for people when I'm broadcasting there. They've been kind and tried to include me in different things.
"It's not something I've thought about pursuing because the Dodgers are owned and operated by other people. They've been doing it their way, and unfortunately it's gone the direction it has for the McCourts and the city. If there would be an opportunity there, I would be interested to look at it."
Garvey told the newspaper he had heard Hershiser talking about his playing days with the Dodgers on the radio when the idea struck him to approach Hershiser about forming the group.
"I was just thinking to myself, we had so
many similarities: the success of the team, rapport with fans, life after baseball," Garvey said. "I gave him a call. We had lunch. I told him he might be the perfect fit. He loves what our business plan is, and he's talked about how he could make contributions. He's a pretty smart guy, and he's the type of person I think would be a great asset for us."
Hershiser, 52, said he enjoys his ESPN role and could be committed to working for the network for 15 to 20 more years, the L.A. Daily News reported.
Hershiser spent all but five of his 18 seasons with the Dodgers, winning the 1988 Cy Young Award after setting the record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched at 59.
He finished his career at 204-150 with a 3.48 ERA.
"The fan base, they deserve better," Hershiser said. "The Los Angeles Dodgers are part of the fabric of Los Angeles. Their pride and their heart have been hurt by what's gone on and what's happening. It will take a large effort to restore that and I'm pulling for McCourt and MLB."
Added Hershiser: "It hurts my heart. It's about restoring the confidence of the fan base and significant pride of the city. The Lakers have done a great job there. The Dodgers need to regain their form. Not in an old-style way but in a way that in my mind, I see them progressing and reaching back to the past."
Garvey was a 10-time All-Star first baseman over 19 seasons with the Dodgers and San Diego Padres.
He won the 1974 MVP in the National League.
"We're all determined and prudent to add investors who will allow the fund to grow so you can not only purchase a franchise but invest in the success of it," Garvey said. "We're talking about the purchase of players and development of the minor league system.
"Once you buy it, it's not over."
Information from ESPN The Magazine's Molly Knight was used in this report.