May 18, 1995 – Disney Announces Purchase of California Angels
“Baseball is already very family oriented, but I’m sure what we would do is build on what Gene Autry has already achieved in the last three decades.” – John Dreyer, Disney Spokesman
On May 18, 1995, The Walt Disney Company announced that it had agreed to purchase a 25% interest in the California Angels baseball team from owners Gene and Jackie Autry, with the option to buy the other 75% at a later date. The team had been up for sale for over a year at this point, and although Disney declined to give details on the purchase, industry experts estimated that the cost of the purchase was about $30 million. This was Disney’s second franchise purchase, with the first being the Mighty Ducks in 1992. Disney would eventually purchase the rest of the team on May 15, 1996, after Autry’s passing.