His daddy would be proud of him, there aren’t many black sports franchise owners period, much less in baseball.
Martin Luther King III has a dream: To buy the Mets.
The son of the late civil-rights leader is uniting with some heavy hitters, including Mets legend Ed Kranepool; entrepreneur Donn Clendenon Jr., son of the 1969 Mets World Series MVP; TV executive Larry Meli; and a number of unnamed deep-pocketed investors, The Post has learned.
“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 said, noting that Major League Baseball has no African-American owners.
“The time and place are right for it. It just seems to be the right mix of people.”
The time is right, and the names in this group are Amazin’.
According to Meli, King, 53, who runs the King Center in Atlanta, is scheduled to come to New York this week to set up a meeting with the Wilpons, who announced Friday they’re looking to sell up to 25 percent of the team because of financial woes created by the Bernie Madoff mess.
King declined to comment on the particulars, but Meli said he and his group are looking to purchase at least 50 percent of the club. That could be a roadblock, but Meli said he hopes the two sides can work together.
“I think in order for it to make sense it would have to be at least a 50-50 arrangement,” said Meli, a trusted friend of King.
Kranepool, 66, who is in the credit-card processing business, said: “Hopefully, something can be worked out. I certainly think I can be an asset to that organization. It depends on what they are looking for and how we can structure a deal that’s good for everybody.”
Clendenon added he’s “excited” about the venture. “I was born a Met,” he said.
The Wilpons have done much to honor the legacy of Jackie Robinson, so you would think they would be willing to work with the son of another African-American icon. King is a big sports fan, noted Meli, 58. King threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Civil Rights Game in Atlanta in 2008.
“What professional athlete wouldn’t want to play baseball for Martin Luther King III?” Meli said.
Mets history is represented by this group. “Eddie Kranepool is Mr. Met,” Meli said.
“What this means for the fans would be to have a first-rate baseball team that is competitive, that has the financial resources to keep it competitive, and that has the full understanding of how to manage media and the new ways in which content is delivered.”
The Mets are worth $858 million, Forbes estimated last year. The King group claims to have more than $1 billion in assets.
“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.”
A good point about athletes wanting to play for “Martin Luther King”, were sure BLACK athletes would be excited, but we wonder in WHITE athletes would have that same kind of enthusiasm??
Long live “The Kang” (no, not you Clifford)