Every walk of life, every culture, every community and every course of human endeavor is dotted with it's share of crime. Some minor, some major. Some seemingly innocuous and others glaringly flagrant. Baseball is no exception, of course. Throughout it's relatively brief history, it has had its thieves, its con men, its muggers and even its murderers. While a seemingly morbid subject, it is nonetheless fascinating to me and, I daresay, to most people. It makes ballplayers, who would be otherwise glorified and put upon a pedestal by worshipful youngsters, appear to be exactly as they are... human. Not so nice humans. I'd like to add to this thread periodically with some of baseball's more publicized crimes and the criminals who perpetrated them, as well as some of the more obscure ones. Feel free to add your own, if you are so inclined.... The Adventures of Denny McLain or, The HOF Career that Never Happened - McLain was never liked very well in baseball circles, and for good reason. He was a brash, cocky braggart who, when he wasn't pitching, hustled golf, promoted rock concerts, hosted a talk show and even performed as a concert-level organist (he described himself as an organist who happened to play baseball.) In 1969, a rookie once tapped him on the shoulder. McLain turned around and said to the youngster, "Listen, busher, never touch a superstar." His team nickname was 'Mighty Mouth.' McLain could never seem to hold onto money, despite his astronomical (for the times) $200,000 salary. He was always losing card games, as well as other bets, around the clubhouse. He eventually got evicted from his home, his office furniture was repossessed and the IRS came after him for back taxes. At one point, his assets were $413 and he owed $446,000. In 1967, through a bookmaking operation ran by McLain, a man named Hubert Voshen placed an $8,000 bet on a horse called Williamston Kid. When the horse came in, Voshen was due $46,000, money that McLain and his partners didn't have. Voshen, not without connections of his own, demanded to be paid and was passed around from bookie to bookie, receiving several calls asking him to be patient (one of these calls purportedly came from McLain's father-in-law, HOFer Lou Boudreau.) Voshen finally arrange an audience with Tony Giacalone, an enforcer with the Detroit chapter of the Cosa Nostra. Giacalone invited McLain onto his boat and 'persuaded' him to pay up by crushing two toes on his left foot. McLain later denied that the boat incident ever happened. He subsequently gave two different accounts of how he broke his toes. He missed a good deal of the '67 season due to his injuries and when the Tigers and Red Sox were tied for first place on the final day of the season, McLain was pressed into duty (he had won 20 games in 1966). He was still suffering much pain from the foot injury, and didn't last three innings, giving up four hits and three runs. Teammates blamed him for losing the pennant to Boston. In yet another ironic wrinkle, Tony 'The Enforcer' Giacalone's brother had bet heavily against the Tigers for the that final game (wonder what he knew??) McLain and his partners finally raised the $46,000 to pay off Voshen, but the money was never delivered. In October, 1968, Voshen played a round of golf then went out for lunch. During his meal, he was paged to a phone where he took the call then immediately rushed out to his car, according to witnesses. An hour later, the car was found wrapped around a tree on a highway outside Detroit. Voshen was dead. The pavement was good, visibility was high, the road was straight. Most of these events were chronicled in a Sports Illustrated story in 1970 that McLain said was 90% lies. He claimed he was talked out of suing, however. Three days before the article appeared, Bowie Kuhn suspended him for actions detrimental to baseball. He returned from his suspension on July 1, 1970 and pitched horribly for the rest of the year. He went from 24-9 in '69 to 3-5 in '70. During his suspension and after his return, McLain didn't act as though he was interested in returning to baseball's good graces. He threatened a parking lot attendant with bodily harm over a parking space, he dumped buckets of ice water over two sportswriters and he started accumulating several different varieties of guns. He was accused of brandishing one in a Chicago restaurant as well as carrying one onto a commercial airliner. Kuhn suspended him again, this time for the rest of the season. He also 'suggested' a psychiatric evaluation which McLain complied with. He was given a clean bill of health. His right arm wasn't as healthy. His fastball was gone and he led the majors in losses in 1971 with 22 while pitching for the lowly Senators. After a short stint in the minors in 1972 (during which time he considered accepting a $25,000 bribe to throw a game) he was called up to Atlanta. McLain later admitted he would probably have taken the bribe, but the call-up came before he had the chance. He pitched crappy and was released after appearing in 15 games. Just four years after his phenomenal 31-win season, and only three years after his second consecutive CY Award, he was out of baseball for good. McLain went downhill from there. He declared bankruptcy in 1977. After allowing his insurance to lapse, his house burned to the ground and he lost everything, including his Cy Young Awards. His weight ballooned from 190 to 300 lbs and he suffered a mild heart attack. From 1981-1984, McLain, respectively, took a job as a mortgage broker and helped a disco owner obtain a $40,000 loan, was threatened by mobsters with the loss of his ears when the disco owner couldn't pay it back, was busted at an airport with cocaine stuffed in his golf bag and was indicted for, among other things, racketeering, extortion, loan-sharking and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. He was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to 23 years in jail. After spending two and a half eventful years in state prison, the sentence was overturned in 1987 on a technicality - the trial had been unfairly rushed. He subsequently pleaded guilty in a second trial and was given another five years. the judge, in an unusual twist, also ordered him to revise his autobiography to reflect that he had pleaded guilty, saying, "It's about time you start getting things truthfully in order for a change." After his release, McLain cleaned up his act. He worked as a PR man for a hockey team in Indiana and a company that sold alcohol-free wine cooler. In 1989, he took a job playing the organ in a Michigan bar. The bartender was Leon Spinks, another shooting star who had his troubles with the law.