Ex-big-leaguer claims bankruptcy

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Rick Wise, a former major league pitcher and Oregon Sports Hall of Fame inductee, has filed for bankruptcy, listing more than $1.4 million in debts.

Wise and his wife, Susan, filed for Chapter 7 voluntary liquidation late Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Portland.


Under Chapter 7 of the Federal Bankruptcy Act, a trustee is appointed by the court to sell the debtor's assets to repay creditors. The debtor can claim certain property exempt from creditors.

The Wises, who listed a Beaverton address, were not available for comment.

Kent Snyder, whose firm, Snyder Bankruptcy, is representing the Wises, said the couple has no real assets for a trustee to sell that aren't already under lien by the Internal Revenue Service.

The Wises listed a total of $101,000 in assets, according to court papers. They claimed as exemptions two automobiles, household furniture and furnishings and a portion of wages.

The Internal Revenue Service is the largest creditor, seeking $1.17 million in taxes owed over 1975-85, according to the bankruptcy document. The Oregon Department of Revenue is seeking $165,000 and the State of California Franchise Tax Board is seeking $135,000.


Snyder said debts to the IRS can be eliminated under certain conditions and he thought the Wises would meet the criteria, which includes the passage of years.

Wise and other athletes ran into problems through poor investments made by a financial counselor several years ago, Snyder said.

'We're just trying to clean up all the mess and let him get on with his life,' Snyder said.

Wise, who described himself in documents as unemployed, was a major league pitcher from 1964-82, starting his career with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Wise led Portland's Rose City team to the 1958 Little League World Series.

He pitched for five major league teams and compiled a record of 188-181 with 30 career shutouts. He won 16 games for the St. Louis Cardinals in both 1972 and 1973 and was the winning pitcher in the 1973 All-Star Game.

Traded to Boston, Wise went 19-12 in 1975 as the Red Sox won the American League pennant. He was dealt to Cleveland in 1978 and finished his career in 1982 with the San Diego Padres.

In 1971, while playing for the Phillies, Wise became the only pitcher in major league history to hit two home runs while throwing a no-hitter.


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