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Astro Pitcher's Past Comes to Forefront Before He Is Cut

March 13, 1995|Associated Press

Houston Astro pitcher J.P. Simone doesn't have to worry about his past gambling conviction hurting his game. Simone was released on Sunday.

On Friday, Simone claimed he had "never been to prison."

But on Saturday, he told the Kansas City Star he served six months in the Marion, Ill., federal penitentiary where Pete Rose served his term for income-tax invasion. Simone was found guilty of civil contempt for refusing to testify before a grand jury in Kansas City. Simone was imprisoned because he would not provide evidence against his father, Peter J. Simone, who pleaded guilty to running a private casino.

"Everybody makes mistakes when they're a teen-ager," Simone said. "When you're a man, you hope you can put that stuff behind you."

Simone insisted his misdeeds consisted of nothing more than making small bets with friends and refusing to testify.

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