By Paul Kurtz
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (CBS) — Despite the horrible allegations raised against him, Bill Conlin’s status as a Hall of Fame writer is not likely to be challenged.
The Baseball Writers Association of America selected Conlin for the Hall of Fame’s “Scribes and Mikemen” exhibit, and it’s not about to take the honor back.
In a brief statement released after Conlin was accused of sexually abusing children (see related story), the association’s secretary-treasurer said that Conlin has been a member in good standing for 45 years and that the allegations have no bearing on his winning the 2011 JG Taylor Spink award.
Baseball insider Seth Everett says the group really had no other choice, since no legal charges have been filed against Conlin (see related story).
“If, for example, Conlin was sent to prison for something that was convicted and proven, then I think the Hall of Fame has a serious issue to refer to,” Everett tells KYW Newsradio. “But as long as there is a situation where this is literally just one person’s word against another, because of the statute of limitations, there really is no precedent to take him out of the Hall of Fame.”
If the alleged victims had come forward sooner, things would have been different, says Everett. “He wouldn’t have won the award if this was (revealed) two years ago.”