Here's the known, and rumored, list 15 of exceedingly rich Wall Street one percenters, fabulously wealthy moguls and hardcore baseball lovers who may -- or may not -- have made secret, non-binding $1 billion bids to buy the Dodgers before the January 23, 2012 deadline expired.
1. Tom Barrack, colorful Santa Barbara jet-setter who struck it rich as an Arabic-speaking adviser to Saudi princes. A billionaire who hobnobs with Hollywood and runs $36 billion Colony Capital private-equity firm, he owns Neverland and polo fields. Number 375 on Forbes 400 list of the rich.
2. Ron Burkle, L.A. supermarket magnate and aging party boy, owns the Pittsburgh Penguins, runs huge Yucaipa Companies. The thin-skinned Burkle is deep into Democratic Party politics and the studio investing scene. He's 107 on Forbes 400.
3. Alan Casden, Beverly Hills accountant-turned-apartment king who built 90,000 units. A billionaire math whiz, Casden lost to Frank McCourt in buying the Dodgers in 2003. Casden wanted to demolish Dodger Stadium -- to build apartments. Number 359 on Forbes 400.
4. Fred Claire, Dodger GM fired by Fox in 1998 for slamming its trade of Mike Piazza. Paired with Andy Dolich, former prez of the Oakland Athletics, and Ben Hwang, former Dodgers batboy who became an exec at Carlsbad biotech firm Life Technologies Corp.
5. Steven Cohen, worth $8 billion, an aggressive and controversial Wall Street trader and hedge fund exec at SAC Capital Advisors in Connecticut. Paired with baseball agent Arn Tellem. Cohen is 35 on Forbes 400.
Please see next page for ten more possible bidders.
6. Mark Cuban, flamboyant and oft-fined billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, he also owns Landmark Theaters and Magnolia Pictures. Loves being on TV. Number 171 on Forbes 400.
7. The family of Roy Disney, billionaire nephew of Walt. He
is was number 283 on Forbes 400. Paired with Stanley Gold, with whom he engineered the 2005 departure of Michael Eisner from Disney. Gold is CEO of hostile takeover firm Shamrock Holdings.
8. Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle, lives in a $110 million compound in Woodside near Silicon Valley. A yachtsman and pilot, Ellison is worth $33 billion and for a second or so in 2000 was the world's richest man. Number 3 on Forbes 400.
9. Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser, both widely respected Dodger legends, paired with Joey Herrick, president of Natural Balance Pet Foods in Pacoima, founded by actor Dick Van Patten.
10. Tom Golisano, billionaire payroll processing magnate who never graduated college, he got rich by founding Paychex. Slammed as the "grandpa" dating Monica Seles, he's deep into New York GOP politics and ran for governor three times. He is number 312 on Forbes 400.
11. Dennis Gilbert, sports agent turned multimillionaire whose Gilbert-Krupin estate planning firm in Beverly Hills helps the wealthy with tax avoidance. Paired with talker Larry King and Jason Reese, an electrical engineer who got rich jumping into investment banking and co-founded Imperial Capital.
12. Magic Johnson, the Lakers legend and L.A. business leader, rated the third-richest black American by Forbes, paired with Washington Nationals president Stan Kasten and Guggenheim Partners CEO Mark Walter.
13. Peter O'Malley, former Dodgers owner grieving over bad sale of Dodgers to FOX in 1997. He's said to have been thinking of pairing with Disney and Gold.
14. Tony Ressler, runs $35 billion Ares Management of Beverly Hills, deep into leveraged buyouts and distressed debt. Was a honcho at now-defunct Drexel Burnham Lambert. A SoCal philanthropist, his wife is Jami Gertz.
15. Joe Torre, widely respected former Dodgers manager, paired with The Grove developer and possible Los Angeles mayoral candidate Rick Caruso.
As L.A. Weekly reports today, McCourt himself will choose the Dodgers new owner by April 6 from a list of up to 10 bidders cleared by MLB -- a big deviation from Major League Baseball rules. The judge will finalize McCourt's pick a week later. The sale will be done April 30. Most of this will unfold secretly, the public not invited.
Further reading: Please see L.A. Weekly's fan-based analysis of the best future owner for the Dodgers, "Who Should Own the Dodgers? "