Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Disappointment - Bill Conlin

How is it that people we really don't know at all can cause us such unhappiness.

This afternoon the news broke that Philadelphia sports columnist Bill Conlin has been accused of sexually abuse of four minors who are now grown.  The charges are quite damning - Philly.Com story here.   

For all involved this is all awful.

I find it personally devastating because I really respected Conlin as a writer. 

This is a baseball related post because Conlin was recently inducted into the writers wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Conlin's Baseball Hall of Fame Page

I don't want to spend time championing Conlin, but did want to relate a few things I remember him (as a writer) for:

1) He was the man that Steve Carlton first stopped talking to - quickly Carlton would go mute on all reporters.
2) Conlin is credited as being the first media person to project the 1993 Philllies (last place in 92) as NL Pennant winners.

Worthless Stuff

Almost 15 years ago I went to a booksigning for Conlin's book "Batting Cleanup".  There were maybe 20 people.  Conlin answered questions and talked baseball until the bookstore closed.   The signing took place within days of my 30th birthday.  Conlin personalized it "Happy #30"

The collection of Conlin's columns used to reside on a shelf of prized autographed books.  Now I don't know what to do with the book.  I thought at some point, it would be a fun tricky auto for Spot the Sig, but that would neither be fun nor appropriate anymore. 

If I am going to take anything positive away from this it is that it is another reminder that our heroes and idols should be our family and friends that get us through our daily trials bringing light to our days while sharing our joys and triumphs.

Now I am going to go start celebrating Christmas early with my wonderful wife.  No Blogging till after the Holiday.


night owl said...

Whoa, that's heavy stuff.

I didn't really like Conlin or his writing. This is me saying this from a distance, a long way from Philly, but I disagreed with a lot of what he said, and how he said it. I got the impression that he was stuck in the past. Still, I can see why he had the audience and job he had.

This, though, I don't know what to say.

Jim said...

Your title says it best:

Disappointment - Bill Conlin

My Dad and I would often start our daily morning phone calls with, "Did you read Conlin yet?" And then we'd discuss if we agreed or disagreed with whatever point he was trying to make.

What a horrible shame.

Contrary Guy said...

Did not like his writing style so much so that he was one of the very few sportswriters that I would not read even if I thought I might be interested in the content of the article. That's just me though.

The way that sexual abuse was (mis)handled years ago (and well now with Penn State) boggles the mind. At our elementary school, there were numerous credible allegations against the principal. As I remember complaints by parents went "up the line" and I don't know the details other than he retired after years of complaints. No police involvement that I was aware of. It seems like another world.

Jim from Downingtown said...

I also enjoyed Bill Conlin's writing over the years. As someone who grew up in the 1960s, I looked forward to his obscure references from the past.

I also respected the fact that he said whatever needed to be said, and didn't care what the teams or players thought about it - a refreshing change from so many of the local writers and TV people who kiss up to the players with softball questions, often framing their questions with built-in excuses for the players.

This latest development is a shame for all affected.

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