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Green is the only color that will count in any deal for the Mets.

And that could be a home run for Martin Luther King III, who wants to become the first black owner in Major League Baseball, a baseball source said yesterday.

"[Met owner] Fred Wilpon needs money, and I think that whoever comes in to buy the Mets is going to have to have very deep pockets and ready cash," the expert said.

No problem, King's partner Larry Meli says.

"We have the deep pockets, and deep pockets means cash. Our guys could do this, no question," Meli said.

The Post reported Sunday that King, son of the civil-rights leader, and Meli lead a group of investors -- including original Amazin' Ed Kranepool and Donn Clendenon Jr., son of the 1969 World Series-winning Mets -- seeking to buy the cash-strapped Flushing franchise.


Robin Nelson for the New York Po
Martin Luther King III
In his first public comments on the issue, King yesterday acknowledged that the Mets have had a tough few years.

"Well, no tougher than the Braves," he joked at his suburban Atlanta home.

He later issued a statement saying, if he "personally, or as part of a collective, can advance the vision of a more diverse ownership group in professional sports . . . then, like my father, I am prepared to act in that spirit."

(newyorkpost)

“I believe in the merit and American value of creating an example,” King said in the statement, “and if I personally, or as part of a collective, can advance the vision of a more diverse ownership group in professional sports, domestically or internationally, then, like my father, I am prepared to act in that spirit.”

He added, “There has been a lot of discussion and speculation about my participation in the acquisition of the New York Mets. The public release of those discussions was premature.”

King declined through a spokesman to elaborate on a report in the New York Post that he is collaborating with several major money players in the venture, including Mets legend Ed Kranepool, entrepreneur Donn Clendenon Jr., son of the 1969 Mets World Series MVP; and TV executive Larry Meli.

“It’s fitting with the legacy of Jackie Robinson essentially transferring to the Mets; what better place to have African-American ownership than with the Mets,” Meli told the Post.

King, 53, is scheduled to come to New York this week to set up a meeting with the owners, who announced Friday they’re looking to sell up to 25 percent of the team, the Post said. Meli told the Post he and his group wants to purchase at least 50 percent of the club.

“Martin Luther King Jr. died for the common man to do better in his life,” Meli said. “That sort of legacy is going to take hold here.”

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