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Thursday, January 09, 2014

Disgraced Philadelphia sports columnist Bill Conlin is dead

Bill Conlin, the legendary former Philadelphia sports columnist whose career came to a crashing end 25 months ago after he was accused of molesting children as far back as the 1970s, died Thursday in a hospital near Clearwater, Fla. Conlin’s son, Pete, confirmed his father’s death in a text to NJ.com. Bill Conlin was 79.

Conlin was a longtime baseball writer and columnist for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin and Philadelphia Daily News whose distinguished career ended just before Christmas 2011 after the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that three women and a man alleged he had molested them in the ‘70s, when the accusers were children. One of the women making the allegations—a prosecutor in Atlantic City—was Conlin’s niece. In the next few days, other alleged victims came forward.

The bombshell allegations came a little more than one month after the Jerry Sandusky child-sex abuse scandal had first rocked Penn State. Conlin was never charged with a crime because the statute of limitations on the allegations had long expired.

A longtime Conlin friend told NJ.com that Conlin had been suffering from kidney failure. The friend learned in a text from Conlin’s daughter that Conlin died Thursday morning at while in the intensive care unit at Largo Medical Center.

Repoz Posted: January 09, 2014 at 07:27 PM | 45 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. T.J. Posted: January 09, 2014 at 07:31 PM (#4635235)
What was his HOF ballot this year?
   2. BDC Posted: January 09, 2014 at 07:38 PM (#4635245)
Bill Conlin wrote superior, snappy, snarky, entertaining game stories in an age when TV and then the Internet were obviating the need for traditional game stories. Aside from that, nil nisi bonum. RIP.
   3. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 09, 2014 at 07:47 PM (#4635257)
I guess he's too old to have gone out like Nelson Rockefeller.
   4. AndrewJ Posted: January 09, 2014 at 07:50 PM (#4635264)
He actually babysat some cousins of mine in the 1940s, though nothing untoward happened.
   5. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 09, 2014 at 07:55 PM (#4635268)
Good riddance. About time he stopped wasting oxygen.
   6. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: January 09, 2014 at 08:02 PM (#4635277)
Never saw him molest.
   7. zonk Posted: January 09, 2014 at 08:09 PM (#4635284)
It's a shame he passed before he could find the real molesters...
   8. Moeball Posted: January 09, 2014 at 08:17 PM (#4635295)
Was Conlin the reason Steve Carlton stopped talking to the press in Philly? Here's a tidbit from BITD that makes you wonder...

Carlton's problems with reporters seem to have begun in 1973, when he lost 20 games, after going 27-10 just the year before.

The critics came out en masse, one of them Bill Conlin, baseball writer for the Philadelphia Daily News, who wrote that Carlton's 1973 performances were adversely affected by too much time on the banquet circuit.

Carlton began to be skeptical of newspapers and television, and for the next several years, he spoke sporadically and only to specific reporters.

"He never admitted to me the reason," said Rick Wise, a hunting buddy of Carlton's who, ironically, was the man the Phillies traded to St. Louis in 1972 to get the lefthander. "But apparently, some writer got into his private life.

"He was so hurt, so bitter, he didn't want to give anyone a chance to do it again."
   9. AndrewJ Posted: January 09, 2014 at 08:22 PM (#4635303)
Moeball>> Yeah, I believe Conlin was the culprit.
   10. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 09, 2014 at 08:27 PM (#4635306)
What was his HOF ballot this year?


Conspiracy theory time: Might he have been the original Deadspin voter? Once you reach "notorious pedophile and child-rapist", your reputation can't really go down from there. He had a fairly close personal relationship with A.J. Daulerio, Deadspin's former editor. And if he had medical problems, that would explain why Deadspin ended up calling an audible to Plan LeB.
   11. Monty Posted: January 09, 2014 at 08:42 PM (#4635319)
Conspiracy theory time: Might he have been the original Deadspin voter? Once you reach "notorious pedophile and child-rapist", your reputation can't really go down from there. He had a fairly close personal relationship with A.J. Daulerio, Deadspin's former editor. And if he had medical problems, that would explain why Deadspin ended up calling an audible to Plan LeB.


On the other hand, I believe Deadspin has said that their original voter will be doing it next year.

...maybe Deadspin's got a long-term plan to get everybody barred from voting!
   12. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 09, 2014 at 08:50 PM (#4635324)
On the other hand, I believe Deadspin has said that their original voter will be doing it next year.


Yeah, but they said that before Conlin died, so I don't think that rules it out.
   13. Tripon Posted: January 09, 2014 at 09:26 PM (#4635337)

Yeah, but they said that before Conlin died, so I don't think that rules it out.


Deadspin emphasized that the original voter wanted a sizable donation to a charity. I doubt Bill Colin was looking to help out a charity during the last days of his life.
   14. akrasian Posted: January 09, 2014 at 09:35 PM (#4635342)


Deadspin emphasized that the original voter wanted a sizable donation to a charity. I doubt Bill Colin was looking to help out a charity during the last days of his life.


Not necessarily true. If he felt guilty at the end, he might have thought it good to give to charity any way he could.
   15. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: January 09, 2014 at 09:43 PM (#4635353)
Deadspin emphasized that the original voter wanted a sizable donation to a charity. I doubt Bill Colin was looking to help out a charity during the last days of his life.

Is Sandusky's charity still operating?
   16. Publius Publicola Posted: January 09, 2014 at 09:44 PM (#4635354)
My only experience with Conlin was on ESPN's The Sports Reporters, when he was usually on with Bob Ryan and Mike Lupica. They both jumped him when he (Conlin) suggested Tim Wakefield might not deserve to make the AS team because he's a knuckleballer.
   17. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 09, 2014 at 10:04 PM (#4635365)
Is Sandusky's charity still operating?


Nonprofit organizations exist to perpetuate themselves. In this case they ultimately transferred their assets to another organization, with the employees of course going along for the ride, and the entity known as "The Second Mile" will go out of existence if it hasn't already.
   18. shoewizard Posted: January 09, 2014 at 10:16 PM (#4635368)
I'll never be able to support any writer from the "Conlin" ERA for the writers wing of the HOF. How can I know which one was a pedophile and which wasn't ? So I'll never vote for any of them, just to be safe.
~ Ken Gurnick
   19. GregD Posted: January 09, 2014 at 10:17 PM (#4635370)
Nonprofit organizations exist to perpetuate themselves. In this case they ultimately transferred their assets to another organization, with the employees of course going along for the ride, and the entity known as "The Second Mile" will go out of existence if it hasn't already.
Is this true, Ray? The Second Mile employees went along with the assets to a new organization in the area? I shouldn't be shocked but whoa.
   20. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 09, 2014 at 10:38 PM (#4635386)
Good riddance to bad rubbish. I hope it hurt a lot.
   21. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 10, 2014 at 09:10 AM (#4635532)
Nonprofit organizations exist to perpetuate themselves. In this case they ultimately transferred their assets to another organization, with the employees of course going along for the ride, and the entity known as "The Second Mile" will go out of existence if it hasn't already.

Did Ray say this? That's perfect. So the government shouldn't be in the business of helping the less fortunate, and nonprofits are all scams. He's a fun guy.
   22. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 10, 2014 at 09:19 AM (#4635541)
Is this true, Ray? The Second Mile employees went along with the assets to a new organization in the area? I shouldn't be shocked but whoa.


Well, sort of. They transferred the Second Mile's assets to another charity that performed similar types of work, Arrow Child & Family Ministries, but that charity had been engaging in operations in PA since at least 2007 (the Google is sketchy, but that's the first PA-specific mention of them that I can find). They were chosen from a group of 15 applicants by the Second Mile's board.

A lot of the existing staff and volunteers did move over to Arrow as well, but since the Second Mile was a mentorship program, that makes sense: It allows the kids who were being served by it to remain in contact with their existing mentors, rather than foisting them off on some stranger they don't know or trust. Arrow also did extensive background checks on all the transferring staff, to make sure there weren't any sheep among the goats. Given the generally shitty situation, I think that's an OK resolution.

Some more details here.
   23. GregD Posted: January 10, 2014 at 10:00 AM (#4635584)
Well, sort of. They transferred the Second Mile's assets to another charity that performed similar types of work, Arrow Child & Family Ministries, but that charity had been engaging in operations in PA since at least 2007 (the Google is sketchy, but that's the first PA-specific mention of them that I can find). They were chosen from a group of 15 applicants by the Second Mile's board.

A lot of the existing staff and volunteers did move over to Arrow as well, but since the Second Mile was a mentorship program, that makes sense: It allows the kids who were being served by it to remain in contact with their existing mentors, rather than foisting them off on some stranger they don't know or trust. Arrow also did extensive background checks on all the transferring staff, to make sure there weren't any sheep among the goats. Given the generally shitty situation, I think that's an OK resolution.
Thanks
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 10, 2014 at 10:05 AM (#4635589)
Nonprofit organizations exist to perpetuate themselves. In this case they ultimately transferred their assets to another organization, with the employees of course going along for the ride, and the entity known as "The Second Mile" will go out of existence if it hasn't already.

Of course this makes non-profits no different than any other bureaucracy, corporate, government or other.

History is littered with for-profit companies that should have run-down the business or self-liquidated and returned cash to shareholders. But instead, they keep plowing their profits into M&A, or half-baked investments in a vain attempt to stay relevant and keep senior management employed.
   25. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 10, 2014 at 10:06 AM (#4635591)
Is this true, Ray? The Second Mile employees went along with the assets to a new organization in the area? I shouldn't be shocked but whoa.

Why shouldn't there be a new charitable organization in the area to replace the one which people loved for decades but turned out to be run by a bad guy?

I now see Vlad has explained the details successfully.
   26. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 10, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4635631)
Of course this makes non-profits no different than any other bureaucracy, corporate, government or other.

History is littered with for-profit companies that should have run-down the business or self-liquidated and returned cash to shareholders. But instead, they keep plowing their profits into M&A, or half-baked investments in a vain attempt to stay relevant and keep senior management employed.


Exactly. Many charities are great. Some are terrible. That's life. Charity Navigator is a good resource for sorting the wheat from the chaff.
   27. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 10, 2014 at 10:39 AM (#4635641)
Is this true, Ray? The Second Mile employees went along with the assets to a new organization in the area? I shouldn't be shocked but whoa.


It wasn't a new organization but an existing one. I said "another," not "a new."
   28. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 10, 2014 at 10:53 AM (#4635663)
Why shouldn't there be a new charitable organization in the area to replace the one which people loved for decades but turned out to be run by a bad guy?


Again, there wasn't a "new" one, but I don't see a reason to let people who either allowed Sandusky to operate or were too stupid to see what was happening be involved in another children's charity. Because the heads of Second Mile and likely a number of employees completely abrogated their responsibilities to the children they were supposed to be looking out for, and in so doing proved themselves utterly incapable of doing the kind of charity work needed. It wasn't just a Sandusky problem. The CEO of Second Mile, Jack Raykovitz, was informed by Curley of the shower incident. Raykovitz was required by law to report his knowledge to the state's department of public welfare. Raykovitz failed to do so, merely reporting the incident to some board members. Rather than inform the state as was their duty, or at least take severe action that would keep the kids safe (i.e., by keeping Sandusky the hell away from the kids), these Highly Trained Professionals Looking Out For The Children decided that all that was needed was to inform Sandusky that he was to wear shorts in the shower going forward.

These people should still be involved in charity work for children, at any level?

(Raykovitz, for his part, resigned as CEO.)
   29. JE (Jason) Posted: January 10, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4635666)
I doubt Bill Colin was looking to help out a charity during the last days of his life.

How about the Man-Boy Love Association? (What, too soon?)
   30. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 10, 2014 at 11:10 AM (#4635685)
I don't see a reason to let people who either allowed Sandusky to operate or were too stupid to see what was happening be involved in another children's charity.


Most of the people we're talking about had probably never even met Sandusky, or at most did a meet-and-greet once or twice, so how would they have known? We're talking about mentors who were out helping kids study and playing basketball with them, not the guy responsible for waxing and buffing Sandusky's orgy pit.

The CEO of Second Mile, Jack Raykovitz, was informed by Curley of the shower incident. Raykovitz was required by law to report his knowledge to the state's department of public welfare. Raykovitz failed to do so, merely reporting the incident to some board members.


Raykovitz has no connection to Arrow, and wasn't involved in their selection as the recipient for the Second Mile's assets.
   31. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 10, 2014 at 11:11 AM (#4635689)
How about the Man-Boy Love Association? (What, too soon?)


It turns out that NAMBLA is largely defunct these days, as a result of expenses incurred in fighting a lawsuit.

Good riddance.
   32. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 10, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4635697)
Raykovitz has no connection to Arrow, and wasn't involved in their selection as the recipient for the Second Mile's assets.


Yes, but the number of people who knew or should have known was broader than Raykovitz.

For starters at least two other board members knew of the shower incident.
   33. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 10, 2014 at 11:19 AM (#4635705)
How about the Man-Boy Love Association? (What, too soon?)

NAMBLA rejects the concept of "too soon."
   34. zonk Posted: January 10, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4635715)
I laughed.

But I'm a well known bad person.
   35. Moeball Posted: January 10, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4635716)
It turns out that NAMBLA is largely defunct these days, as a result of expenses incurred in fighting a lawsuit.


Did Marlon Brando sue them?
   36. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 10, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4635723)
Yes, but the number of people who knew or should have known was broader than Raykovitz.

For starters at least two other board members knew of the shower incident.


So what? Those aren't the people who moved over to Arrow, either.
   37. just plain joe Posted: January 10, 2014 at 12:02 PM (#4635757)
How about the Man-Boy Love Association? (What, too soon?)


I thought that Conlin was allegedly being inappropriate with little girls. Did he go both ways with his perversion?
   38. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: January 10, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4635768)
I thought that Conlin was allegedly being inappropriate with little girls. Did he go both ways with his perversion?


Was he the Eddie Murray of perversion?
   39. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 10, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4635770)
I thought that Conlin was allegedly being inappropriate with little girls. Did he go both ways with his perversion?


There were seven official accusers, of which one was a man.
   40. spike Posted: January 10, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4635841)
Charity Navigator is a good resource for sorting the wheat from the chaff.

It's a good place to start, but the caveat there is that it's all self-reported data.
   41. Hack Wilson Posted: January 10, 2014 at 02:33 PM (#4635893)
Although I don't hear his name mentioned often anymore, Senator Joe McCarthy was reportedly a switch-hitting child molesters. But at least he wasn't a Communist. The fifties were weird.
   42. bjhanke Posted: January 10, 2014 at 08:57 PM (#4636066)
I spend a lot of time watching things like the Military Channel on TV, which is what happens when the rest of your family is a pack of airborne rangers, and you were a Vietnam draft resister who would like to have conversations at family gatherings. There are bits and pieces, here and there, that, taken together, look like McCarthy may have been responsible, among other things, for our entry into Vietnam. When the Viet Cong thrashed the French at Dien ben Fu (sp?) in 1954, the French went to President Eisenhower and asked for the U. S. to take over the French colonial mission in what was then called French Indo-China. There are some serious hints that Ike did not want to do that, but Ho Chi Minh's timing could not have been worse (well, may be in 1918, when the whole Vietnam thing got started). McCarthy was at the height of his powers, just before Walter Cronkite exposed him to the general populous. McCarthy had already (I remember this from being all of 6 years old at the time) that Ike might be a little "pink", meaning a communist sympathizer. Ike, who was, after all, the commanding general of D-Day, should have been immune to that stuff, but he seems to have been seriously worried that McCarthy was starting to campaign for the 1956 Republican nomination for the presidency. That left Ike in no position to turn down a request to fight anyone who called themselves communists.

So, yes, the 1950s were weird, and 1954 was the height of the weirdness. It's also the year where Sen. Estes Kefaufer (sp?) convened a panel to determine whether comic books were ruining America's youth, which resulted in the travesty of the Comics Code Authority. And it was the first year the my dad took me to a baseball game. Weird year.

Monitors - If this post seems too political for BTF, please feel free to take it down. - Brock Hanke
   43. The District Attorney Posted: January 10, 2014 at 09:31 PM (#4636070)
McCarthy was at the height of his powers, just before Walter Cronkite exposed him to the general populous.
This historical fact was chronicled well in the film Good Night and Good Luck Chuck.
   44. Guts Posted: January 10, 2014 at 09:47 PM (#4636074)
Monitors - If this post seems too political for BTF, please feel free to take it down. - Brock Hanke

Take it to the [whatever the OTP is currently about] thread.
   45. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 10, 2014 at 09:53 PM (#4636075)
McCarthy was at the height of his powers, just before Walter Cronkite exposed him to the general populous.

it wasn't Cronkite, it was Edward R. Murrow

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