SBD/Issue 165/Franchises

Mets Groundskeeper Charged With Promoting Gambling At Shea

Stadium Groundskeeper Faces
Gambling Ring Accusations
Thirty-six people — “including a man identified by authorities as the Mets’ head groundskeeper — are facing up to 25 years in prison on a host of counts, including enterprise corruption, promoting gambling and gun charges,” according to Alex Ginsberg of the N.Y. POST. Prosecutors said that a group of 25 runners for the Bonanno crime family, including Shea Stadium groundskeeper Dominic Valila, “took 2,000 bets, totaling $500,000, each day.” Mets VP/Media Relations Jay Horowitz said that Valila was “merely a member of the groundskeeping team, not its leader.” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said, “I have no reason to believe that any Mets player, or member of the Mets’ managerial or coaching staff or front office, is in any ways involved” (N.Y. POST, 5/19). In N.Y., Shifrel, Rubin & Goldiner report Valila denied the charges, but said that he “had been suspended without pay by the Mets.” MLB VP/PR Patrick Courtney said that MLB and the Mets will “launch their own probe to root out the gambling at Shea.” Meanwhile, the Mets issued a statement “backing the probe and ordered players not to talk about it.” One Mets player said, “We were told to zip it” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/19).

BAD COMPANY: In a sidebar, Goldiner notes former Mets P John Franco’s name “came up last year in an FBI report that claimed he palled around with several high-ranking members of the Bonanno crime family and even invited some into the Mets clubhouse before games” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/19).

Return to top

Related Topics:

Baseball, Franchises, MLB, New York Mets

Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug