Longtime Orioles owner Peter Angelos dies at 94

FILE - In this Aug. 14, 2014, file photo, Baltimore Orioles principal owner Peter G. Angelos speaks to reporters during an owners quarterly meeting in Baltimore. A New York state judge has thrown out an arbitration decision that said the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, which is controlled by the Baltimore Orioles, owes the Washington Nationals about $298 million for the team's 2012-16 television rights. MASN and the Orioles sued in New York State Supreme Court last year, claiming the arbitration was improper because the law firm Proskauer Rose, which represented the Nationals, at times worked for MLB and the teams of all three arbitrators. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark, File)
Longtime Baltimore Orioles principal owner Peter G. Angelos died on Saturday at 94, the family announced. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark, File)

Peter Angelos, the longtime principal owner of the Baltimore Orioles, died at age 94 on Saturday.

The Angelos family announced the news in a statement on social media. The patriarch of the family bought the Orioles for $173 million on Oct. 4, 1993.

"Mr. Angelos had been ill for several years, and the family thanks the doctors, nurses and caregivers who brought comfort to him in his final years," the statement read. "It was Mr. Angelos' wish to have a private burial, and the family asks for understanding as they honor that request."

The news of Angelos' death comes just days before his family's sale of the team to Baltimore native David Rubenstein is expected to be finalized. The Maryland Stadium Authority approved the sale Thursday, and the last hurdle for the $1.725 billion sale is receiving approval from 75% of Major League Baseball's owners.

At the time of Angelos' purchase, it was the highest amount ever paid for a sports franchise. Angelos and his investor group, which included writer Tom Clancy, filmmaker Barry Levinson and tennis star Pam Shriver, swooped in and bought the Orioles after former owner Eli Jacobs went bankrupt.

Angelos started his practice, the Law Offices of Peter Angelos, and built his wealth by winning high-profile liability cases. He won a $4.5 billion ruling after bringing a lawsuit against big-tobacco company Philip Morris on behalf of the state of Maryland in 1996. His office also represented steel, shipyard and manufacturing facility workers in a class-action lawsuit over asbestos.

In 2018, Peter Angelos conceded power to his son, John Angelos, as his health began to decline. Louis Angelos, his younger son, works as an attorney for the family law firm and also serves as an Orioles ownership representative.

Baltimore (101-61) finished with the best record in the American League and the top seed in the AL playoffs in 2023. The Orioles were swept by the eventual World Series champion Texas Rangers in the division series.