The state of Indiana on Wednesday awarded eight unclaimed Indianapolis Indians shares to six bidders who offered as much
as $27,505 for a piece of the minor league team.
The Indiana Attorney General’s Unclaimed Property Division received a total of 12 bids. Two of the six highest bidders are in line to get two shares each. Bidders will be officially notified no later than Friday and will have until June 9 to pay for the shares.
— Bryan C. Elliott, Indianapolis, two shares for $27,505 each
— Roger E. Werner, Greenwood, $27,100 for one share
— E. Chris Iverson III, Indianapolis, $27,000 for one share
— John M. Farrar, Indianapolis, $26,260 for one share
— Douglas D. Chokey, Bloomington, two shares for $25,500 each
— James M. and Janett B. Lowes, Indianapolis, $25,500 for one share
Indians management turned the unclaimed shares over to the state to sell after spending years trying to locate the rightful owners. According to state law, property is considered unclaimed when the owner of an asset cannot be found.
Shares of the minor-league baseball team are difficult to come by—only 755 are outstanding, with nearly 40 percent owned by team Chairman Max Schumacher.
Only one share has changed hands in the past six months, and that sale occurred in December, for $25,000. The state sought a minimum bid price of $25,000 for each share.
Proceeds from the auction will be placed in a state account. Share owners or their heirs now have 25 years to claim their money from the state.
The team began selling shares to the public in 1956, when 6,672 people paid $10 per share and bought 24,488 shares of stock in the city's struggling minor-league baseball team. The move was designed to take the money-losing team off the hands of its owner, the Cleveland Indians, and keep it in Indianapolis.
The Indians, now the Class AAA affiliate for the Pittsburgh Pirates, are valued at about $20 million by Baseball America magazine.