Well I guess this sickness isn’t only carried by creep football and basketball coaches. I am sure that most of you have heard by now that Hall of Fame baseball writer, Bill Conlin is being accused by three women and one man of sexual molestation decades ago. This news saddens me for multiple reasons and really has me thinking should his alleged extracurricular activities take away from his accomplishments as a sports writer for so many years.
Having grown up in Philadelphia, I often would look forward to reading Conlin’s clever analysis and witty humor. I did not grow an appreciation for a man but more so for the words that were written by him about the four teams which I loved so much. He, in essence, was the major sports voice of our city for almost half a century. In 2011, Conlin received the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, named for a publisher of the Sporting News. The award was presented at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, and an exhibit honoring him is still in the Hall. He was constant fixture in Philadelphia sports and especially in the Philadelphia baseball community.
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I am trying my best to separate the claims of what has happened from the storied writing career of this Philadelphia sports legend, but I just can’t do it. The sense of pride I had when I learned a writer from my city was receiving such a great honor has completely fizzled and a sense of disappointment resides. The fact the claims are being made by multiple family members, as well as friends of his children, and the events are said to have taken place when the children were between the ages of 7-12, completely floors me.
I find it ironic that with all of the talk of putting “dirty” players in the Hall of Fame over the next few induction classes, it is a sports writer who may be the least deserving of everyone. Conlin did not shoot steroids into his own body or bet on games that he participated in or even throw World Series, but he allegedly did something even worse by allegedly causing harm to children.
Conlin would often write an article where he would start of by saying “If I ruled the world … .” So, let me take the same approach: If I ruled the world, corruption, dirtiness and filth would stay as far away from the game of baseball as possible so that, even if it doesn’t truly exist, purity can still be sought after in this alternate universe that we all grow to love.