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Newswire : Denny McLain Takes Stand, Tells Jury He Considered Suicide

March 06, 1985

Former major-league pitcher Denny McLain took the stand 13 weeks into his federal racketeering trial Tuesday and proclaimed his innocence, telling a jury he was so despondent at the allegations that he considered committing suicide.

"What prevented you?" asked his attorney, Arnold Levine, at the close of four hours of testimony.

"I could not find the bullets," McLain replied.

McLain, baseball's last 30-game winner, rebutted charges in a five-count indictment alleging conspiracy, extortion, loan-sharking, bookmaking and drug dealing. He depicted himself as a victim of his associates and told a jury about his fall from baseball and admitted his propensity for gambling.

Reno-Tahoe boosters say they will try to raise $2.2 million to finance a bid to hold the 1992 Winter Olympic Games. Reno Mayor Peter Sferrazza says the ad-hoc committee hopes to raise the money from the private sector, which would benefit immensely through the attention and tourists.

Reno-Tahoe is competing with Salt Lake City and possibly Anchorage, Alaska, to become the U.S. Olympic Committee's proposed site. The USOC will choose a North American site and forward it to the International Olympic Committee, which will consider it along with foreign sites.

Marathoner Grete Waitz said she would limit herself to major races in the United States this year because the pressure to win in Europe is too great. At the end of March, the Norwegian will run against Olympic champion Joan Benoit at New Orleans. Waitz will be back in the United States at the end of April for a competition at New York.

A new sports and entertainment facility will be constructed in Milwaukee and donated to the community, it was announced by Lloyd and Jean Pettit, owners of the Milwaukee Admirals of the International Hockey League.

The arena willseat between 16,000 and 20,000 and be completed within a year. at a cost estimated between $30 million and $40 million.

Jane Pettit is an heir to the Allen-Bradley Co. fortune.

Sweden's Davis Cup tennis team, scared by a series of tremors following Sunday's major earthquake, which killed at least 135 people, decided to leave Chile and not play its 1985 first-round match. The match will have to be either postponed or awarded to Chile by default.

A bill to allow 25 additional weeks of harness racing at the Los Angeles County Fair to help an industry that's in "serious trouble" has won state Assembly approval.

The board is allowed to allocate 15 weeks in Northern California, 15 weeks in Central California and 10 weeks in Southern California.

The bill went to the Senate by a 58-10 vote.

The Legislature last year passed a similar bill, but it was vetoed by Gov. George Deukmejian, mainly because it also reduced the license fee paid by race tracks. The new bill does not have the reduction.

Lawyers for two former Clemson coaches--Sam Colson, cross-country and strength coach, and Stan Narewski, track and cross-country--indicted for illegal possession and distribution of prescription drugs said the men would plead guilty Monday when the next term of court starts in Pickens County, S.C.

Henry Tillman and Willie deWit--the Canadian he beat for the heavyweight gold medal at the Olympics--each stayed unbeaten in their young pro careers .

Tillman (2-0) stopped Mickey Pryor (8-3-1) 59 seconds into the fourth round, and DeWit (3-0) finished off Tony Pulu (19-13-1) just before the end of the opening round. Both fights were scheduled for six rounds at Dallas.

San Francisco Giant owner Bob Lurie is "seriously considering" moving the team to San Jose, Mayor Tom McEnery of San Jose said as he unveiled plans to explore building a 45,000-seat stadium with private financing.

Names in the News

A federal court jury in Washington ordered Lloyd's of London to honor a $250,000 disability insurance policy taken out by former Washington Bullet forward Bob Dandridge and pay him 18 months interest as well. Dandridge, whose career ended shortly after an injury in 1980, had sued Lloyd's for breach of contract.

Miami businessman Norman Braman is within reach of completing a deal to buy the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League, according to reports in the Miami News and Philadelphia Inquirer.

Dwayne Polee, Pepperdine's junior guard, has been named the Most Valuable Player in the West Coast Athletic Conference basketball. Jim Harrick of Pepperdine was named Coach of the Year, an award he has won three times in four years.

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