Former Secretary of State Colin Powell (search) joined one of nine groups bidding to buy the Washington Nationals from Major League Baseball.

Powell was one of three new investors who were announced Wednesday, along with businessmen Dennis Bakke (search) and David Donnini (search).

"We have the opportunity to reinvigorate this city and bring baseball back to a generation of youth who have lost their connection to our nation's pastime," Powell said.

"I'm encouraged by baseball's efforts to diversify its ranks and its reach, and the Washington baseball club shares that commitment to making this team accessible to every Washingtonian," he said.

The group, led by Fred Malek and Jeff Zients, includes former Fannie Mae chairman Franklin Raines, America Online founding CEO James Kimsey, lawyer Vernon Jordan and former Washington Redskins player Darrell Green.

The franchise was purchased by the other 29 major league teams for $120 million in 2002, and Major League Baseball (search) is expected to get more than $300 million in a sale it hopes to complete this year.

Nine potential ownership groups have paid $100,000 deposits to enter the bidding.

Powell retired as secretary of state in January.