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Gov. Richardson Commits an Error

His claim to have been drafted by baseball's Kansas City Athletics is untrue, he admits.

November 25, 2005|From Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Gov. Bill Richardson is coming clean on his draft record -- the baseball draft, that is, admitting that his claim to have been a pick of the Kansas City Athletics in 1966 was untrue.

For about four decades, Richardson, often mentioned as a possible Democratic presidential candidate, has maintained that he was drafted by the A's.

The claim was included in a brief biography released when Richardson successfully ran for Congress in 1982. A White House news release in 1997 mentioned it when he was about to be named U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. And several news organizations, including Associated Press, have reported it as fact over the years.

But an investigation by the Albuquerque Journal found no record of Richardson being drafted by the A's or any other team.

Informed by the newspaper of its findings, the governor acknowledged the error in a story in Thursday's editions.

"After being notified of the situation and after researching the matter ... I came to the conclusion that I was not drafted by the A's," Richardson said. He said he had believed it was true based on an old program from an amateur team he had played for.

Richardson, a right-handed pitcher who played at Tufts University, said he was scouted by several major league teams in the 1960s.

He said his name appeared on "a draft list of some kind" created by the Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates. He named team scouts, now dead, who he said told him that he "would or could" be drafted.

He developed arm trouble, ending any possible career.

In 1967, he played for the amateur Cape Cod League's Cotuit (Mass.) Kettleers. The words "Drafted by K.C." appear next to his name on a faded team program, the Journal reported.

"When I saw that program in 1967, I was convinced I was drafted," Richardson said. "And it stayed with me all these years."

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