STRAWBERRY JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG IN MEMORABILIA PROBE?
The indictment of Darryl Strawberry last week on charges of
conspiracy and income tax violations "does not signal the end of
the Federal Government's investigation into baseball players'
involvement with lucrative sports memorabilia shows," according
to Claire Smith of the N.Y. TIMES. Inquiries by the Justice
Department resulted in the indictments of Strawberry, his agent,
Eric Goldschmidt, and memorabilia dealers William J.F. Hungach
and Michael Bertolini. Other names surfacing in the
investigation include other members of the '86 Mets and Mickey
Mantle. But Robert Fink, an attorney for Mantle, says: "Mr.
Mantle has been exonerated." The U.S. Attorney's office in
Brooklyn had no comment (N.Y. TIMES, 12/10). MLBPA General
Counsel Gene Orza denied a N.Y. DAILY NEWS report that Howard
Johnson also faced indictment (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 12/11). One source
close to Bertolini's case: "It won't stop there. There will be
other names, other players." Bertolini was former partner of
Pete Rose in Hit King Marketing (John Erardi, CINCINNATI
ENQUIRER, 12/10). Peter Gammons cites on agent who calls the
Strawberry indictment "only the beginning. There are a lot of
players who are going to get hauled in by the IRS for not
reporting the card-show cash." Gammons also notes it "likely
means the end of Eric Goldschmidt as an agent" (BOSTON GLOBE,