Tax Fraud Night at the Local Ballpark

Minor league baseball teams have all sorts of promotions. Back in June I went to a Las Vegas 51s game on $1 beer night. On that night, the 51s drew a good-sized crowd.

Of course, some promotions aren’t so successful. The most infamous baseball promotion in history is almost certainly the Chicago White Sox’s Disco Demolition Night; the White Sox ended up forfeiting the second game of a doubleheader because of a riot by fans.

The Mahoning Valley Scrappers are the Class A short-season affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. They play their home games in Niles, Ohio (near Youngstown). On September 2nd the Scrappers host the Jamestown (New York) Jammers. The promotion for that night is James A. Traficant, Jr. Release Night (as well as all you can eat Wednesday).

Do you remember Mr. Traficant? He’s the bombastic former Congressman from Ohio who is currently finishing up an eight-year sentence for tax evasion, bribery, racketeering, and obstruction of justice. The Scrappers already had Jim Traficant Night seven years ago. Back on August 14, 2002, the day Mr. Traficant began his prison sentence, hairpiece wearers and sons of truck drivers received free admission to see the Scrappers.

This morning’s Youngstown Vindicator notes that the Scrappers are having second thoughts about honoring Mr. Traficant’s release. Dave Smith, the General Manager of the Scrappers, notes that Mr. Traficant is a “polarizing figure.” I’d say a convicted felon is a better description. Mr. Smith told the Vindicator, “It’s not a huge celebration party with bells and whistles and balloons. We got flooded with e-mails and phone calls, and that forced us to reconsider it. It’s likely we won’t do anything at this point.”

No matter what, Mr. Traficant will have a dinner in his honor in nearby Boardman, Ohio on September 8th. That in itself says something about the community in Youngstown.


One Response to “Tax Fraud Night at the Local Ballpark”

  1. […] I’ve written about James Traficant before. Mr. Traficant is the former Congressman who represented the Youngstown, Ohio area for more than 17 years. He was known for his bombastic style. He’s also known for spending eight years at ClubFed for convictions on ten counts of tax evasion, bribery, racketeering, and obstruction of justice. And he wants to run for Congress again. […]