Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Front Man, Hanser, Called Quiet, Low-Key

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Front Man, Hanser, Called Quiet, Low-Key

Article excerpt

He's quiet and well-liked. He played a mean second base in high school. Yet to some who know him, Frederick O. Hanser, chairman of the group of investors buying the St. Louis Cardinals, is a surprise as a baseball front man.

"He's a real low-key kind of guy, and certainly not the first to speak up," said a Civic Progress and St. Louis Country Club member who asked not to be identified. "He always seemed to be in the background."

Hanser, 53, is the least-known of the four major players, all of them graduates of the St. Louis Country Day School. He's a graduate of Yale University and the Washington University School of Law.

He's a partner at Armstrong, Teasdale, Schlafly & Davis, a prominent St. Louis law firm, which he joined in 1978 after working for the firm of Fordyce & Mayne.

Hanser graduated from Country Day in 1959, and was a classmate of fellow baseball investor William O. DeWitt Jr., of Cincinnati. DeWitt's family has dabbled in baseball since the days of the old St. Louis Browns.

Hanser is the personal attorney of another investor, Andrew N. "Drew" Baur, chairman of Southwest Bank, where Hanser serves on the board. Repeated attempts to reach Hanser Saturday were unsuccessful.

"He says he's not taking any calls because he's being bombarded," said Karen Tamaren, a neighbor on Rio Vista Lane in Ladue. Hanser lives in a large, red-brick house with his wife, Kathy.

"At Country Day, he was one of the better athletes of the decade," said a former Armstrong, Teasdale partner, Edwin S. Fryer, now with the firm Bryan Cave.

He was captain of the football team, a second baseman of some reputation and a guard on the basketball squad.

"He's a fine hitter who covers wide and well on defense," the Country Day baseball coach, Glenn Degner, said in the '59 yearbook. He made the varsity baseball team his sophomore year.

Hanser was extremely active in high school as a member of the student court and the staff of the Country Day News. He was a member of the transportation board, which oversaw disciplinary actions against students who misbehaved on school buses.

"I think he'll be kind of a mouthpiece for the Cardinals," said Fryer, who added: "I don't know anybody who dislikes him. …

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