Jerold Hoffberger

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Jerold Charles Hoffberger (April 7, 1919 - April 9, 1999) was an American businessman. He was president of the National Brewing Company from 1946 to 1973. He was also part-owner of the Baltimore Orioles of the American League from 1954 to 1965, and majority owner from 1965 to 1979.

Biography[edit]

Hoffberger was a lifelong resident of Baltimore, Maryland. He was the only son of his father Samuel, a lawyer who was active in the Democratic Party and a major shareholder and board chairman of National Brewing. His grandfather Charles had been a local merchant who sold wood, coal and ice. Hoffberger attended the University of Virginia. During World War II, he served in the United States Army with the 1st Armored Division in Africa, France and Italy, where he was wounded near Lake Bracciano, northwest of Rome. Jerold Hoffberger was also involved in the Battle of Monte Cassino.[1]

Business career[edit]

The year after the war ended, he was appointed president of the brewery by his father after the death of his predecessor, Arthur Deute. Under the younger Hoffberger's command, National's sales rose from 230,000 barrels in 1946 to two million in 1966.

Baltimore Orioles[edit]

In 1953, when the St. Louis Browns of baseball's American League wanted to move to Baltimore, the nearby Washington Senators, led by Clark Griffith, objected to the potential encroachment on their market. Hoffberger helped ease the way for the move by making his National Bohemian beer a Senators sponsor.[1] When Browns owner Bill Veeck was all but forced to sell the team, Hoffberger and attorney Clarence Miles put together a syndicate that bought the team for $2.5 million and moved it to Baltimore as the Orioles.

Hoffberger was the largest single shareholder in the Orioles, but was initially a silent partner with Miles (1954–1955), James Keelty (1955–1960) and Joe Iglehart (1960–1965). During this time, however, he bought more and more stock until he acquired controlling interest in 1965. He immediately brought in Frank Cashen, National's advertising director, as executive vice president. Under the direction of Cashen and general manager Harry Dalton, the Orioles won four AL pennants and two World Series from 1966-71.[1][2]

He was a 1996 honoree into the Orioles Hall of Fame, inducted with Cal Ripken, Sr. and Billy Hunter. 400 showed up at the luncheon at the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel.[3]

Later life[edit]

National Brewing merged with Canadian brewer Carling in 1973. Hoffberger sold his share of the Orioles to Washington, D.C. lawyer Edward Bennett Williams in 1979.[1]

in the early 1970s, Hoffberger purchased a farm near Woodbine called Sunset Hill Farm (formerly Helmore Farm) in Howard County, Maryland where he bred Thoroughbred horses for racing. While primarily a breeder, he did race horses on his own, notably winning the 1984 Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn Park Race Track.[4]

Hoffberger died at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Goldstein, New York Times obituary
  2. ^ "Baltimore Orioles History & Encyclopedia". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2008-11-03. 
  3. ^ Badger, Sylvia. Hunter, Hoffberger, Ripken Sr. enter Orioles Hall of Fame, The Baltimore Sun, 1 September 1996. Retrieved on 2010-06-26
  4. ^ "About Us". Sunset Hill Farm. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 

References[edit]