facebook
twitter
search
search

Noted ump strikes out in baseball scam

Feb. 24, 2004 at 2:58 PM

NEW YORK, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- A former U.S. big-league umpire has admitted to selling collectors bogus balls of history-making events, the New York Post reported Tuesday.

Al Clark, 56, a major league for 26 years, pleaded guilty in Newark federal court Monday to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

He also agreed to pay $40,000 in restitution to fans who paid at least $2,000 per ball.

From 1995 through 1998, prosecutors said, he passed off the fakes as the real deal in such storied baseball moments as:

-- Cal Ripken tying and breaking Lou Gehrig's consecutive-games records on Sept. 5-6, 1995.

-- Dwight Gooden's May 14, 1996, no-hitter for the Yankees.

-- Nolan Ryan's 300th career victory on July 31, 1990.

-- Yankee Bucky Dent's home run in the Oct. 2, 1978, American League East playoff tiebreaker with the Boston Red Sox.

-- Former Yankee pitcher Hideki Irabu's first major-league game ball.

"People wanted a small piece of the great American pastime. Instead, they had their pockets picked," Newark U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie said.

Clark remains free on $50,000 bail.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
5 Reasons why the Denver Broncos won't be repeat champions
600-pound pig crashes New Hampshire primary
Watch the first full trailer for 'Fuller House'
Liam Neeson romantically involved with 'famous' woman
Car spins out of control, lands on roof of California home