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Who is David Rubenstein? He’s serious, driven and has wanted to own the Orioles for ‘a very long time.’

Like baseball games themselves, David Rubenstein’s wish to own the Orioles had no precise time frame.

But Rubenstein, who played Little League Baseball in Baltimore and attended Baltimore City College, had long told friends he hoped for the opportunity to one day take a swing at buying his hometown club.

“That’s been hanging around for a very long time,” Carlyle Group senior adviser Edward Mathias, who has known Rubenstein for more than 50 years, said in an interview Tuesday. “But for a long time the Angelos family did not want to sell.”

In a 2018 discussion in Bethesda hosted by The Economic Club of Washington, D.C., then-Gov. Larry Hogan elicited laughter from the audience when he suggested to Rubenstein: “One idea, David, might be for you to buy the Orioles.”

The directness of Rubenstein’s answer might have surprised some in the audience.

“Well, if they’re for sale, I’ll consider it,” said Rubenstein, a philanthropist who is co-chairman of the Carlyle Group, a global investment firm.

Three sources with knowledge of the deal said Tuesday that the Angelos family reached an agreement to sell the Orioles to a group led by Rubenstein, 74, for $1.725 billion. Two of the sources said the group includes Maryland leaders and philanthropists and is expected to include Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr., whom Major League Baseball has long encouraged to join an ownership group if the team were sold. The deal must still be approved by MLB.

Fans will no doubt wonder what sort of owner Rubenstein will be.

Owner and family patriarch Peter Angelos, 94, who has been in declining health for more than six years, was known for his devotion to Baltimore but criticized by media and fans for micromanaging the club.

His elder son, John, the team’s chairman and CEO, made a point of adopting a less autocratic style, saying he put executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias in place in 2018 and gave him the autonomy needed for a rebuild of the team.

Mathias predicted that Rubenstein would not be a meddler.

“He’ll have a strategy, which is one of his strong points,” Mathias said. “He’ll be deeply engaged. But I wouldn’t expect to see him showing up with the lineup cards.”

Rubenstein was not available to be interviewed.

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He demonstrated his love of baseball by discussing the sport — and swinging an imaginary bat — in a 2023 PBS “Iconic America” program about Boston’s Fenway Park that he narrated and helped produce. The program is a love letter to MLB’s oldest ballpark, which opened in 1912.

During the show, the white-haired Rubenstein — wearing khakis, a blue shirt and blazer — strides to home plate and assumes his batting stance.

“Ever since I was a kid, I loved baseball. I played Little League growing up in Baltimore,” he says.

Then Rubenstein swings a nonexistent bat and declares that, in his mind’s eye, the ball “would go all the way over the Green Monster.”

Friends describe him as serious, driven and studious — professorial even.

He does programs on Bloomberg TV, interviewing VIP guests from the financial world in an understated style.

Rubenstein is an original signer of The Giving Pledge, a charitable campaign founded by Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates.

He graduated from Duke University in 1970 and from the University of Chicago Law School in 1973.

He practiced law in New York, served as chief counsel to a U.S. Senate Judiciary subcommittee, and joined the administration of President Jimmy Carter in 1977 as a deputy assistant for domestic policy.

He returned to practicing law before co-founding the Carlyle Group in 1987.

“He went from politics to the law, which is fairly traditional, but then broke out and went into the investment business,” Mathias said.

He is serving — or has served — as chairman of the boards of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Gallery of Art, the Economic Club of Washington, Duke University and the Smithsonian Institution, among other institutions. He is a trustee for Johns Hopkins Medicine, which has a child health building named for him.

Rubenstein’s motto is “Sprint to the Finish,” which his friends interpret as a call to get as many diverse projects completed in his lifetime as he can.

This story will be updated.