Speedball

The story you never read on the back of a baseball card

"While [Wickander] is articulate, educated and personable," Humphries wrote in a presentence report, "his performance has been minimal at best. He . . . has repeatedly made cognizant decisions continuing to use illegal drugs and committing new offenses against the public."

Levenbaum hired John Sloss to prepare an "alternative sentencing proposal" for the judge.

"Mr. Wickander went from being on top of the world as a major league baseball player to depths that he never dreamed were possible," Sloss wrote. "Mr. Wickander appears to have gone from one setback to another, and demonstrated a total loss of how to get his life back on track."

Sloss' report included a letter in which Grand Canyon president Stafford said he will offer Wickander a job as a pitching coach at the school after prison.

"I think Kevin has a lot to offer college kids by working with them and telling them what he's gone through," Stafford tells New Times. "He's had more than his share of life issues, some of them his doing and some of them not his doing, like the boat accident. Hopefully, we'll be a big part of the support groups he'll need when he gets out -- that's the only way he'll possibly survive."


At Kevin Wickander's sentencing on September 19, his parents expressed both love for their son and heartbreak over what has happened to him.

"Kevin has lots of friends and family who love him," Ardith Wickander said, "but drugs took over his life. The seven months he's been in jail have been a blessing in disguise. . . . I think he's realizing what he's done to his family, his career, and most of all, to himself."

Jerry Wickander then told Reinstein, "Kevin didn't pay attention of how people have to work and do the right thing. We tried to do everything we could, but we haven't run into anything like this before."

Melissa Hernandez promised the judge that she'll be there for Wickander when he gets out of prison -- "I love him very much, and I'll give him all the support he needs."

Finally, Wickander stood and faced Judge Reinstein. "I'll work my fingers to the bone when I get out," he said, trembling and weeping in his black-and-white jail stripes. "My family needs me and I need them. I am not a menace to society."

Reinstein looked down at the ex-pitcher from the bench, and got to the point.

"Not many people are able to play in the major leagues," he told Wickander. "It's probably every little boy's dream, and you realized that dream. Your fall from grace is so much longer and farther than most people I see. I would agree with your parents that you yourself probably don't know why this happened to you."

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11 comments
deltazeta
deltazeta

Hi, I'm looking to get a hold of Kevin for the Cortez High School class of 1983 Reunion  this summer (2012). I am helping Sandra Cook with finding former students who have gone MIA, and am working from the bottom of the list up.  If anyone can send me a current phone number or address (I've narrowed him down to Glendale, AZ), please contact me at deltazeta@cox.net.  Thank you.

Smrtagent
Smrtagent

This is so sad. The Kevin I knew was not doing meth when we were together.

Amphetamine Addiction
Amphetamine Addiction

Speedball 2 Evolution Out for PSP Next Week The Bitmap Brothers classic futuristic sports game will be going live on Sony PSP via the Playstation Network Store next week as a Minis game. Following Speedball 2 Evolution's

JST Books
JST Books

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snmseo
snmseo

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oh_myy
oh_myy

I am the young woman who was "awarded" thousands of dollars. Gosh my daughter wishes he would come back in her life. As the article state's , after livin a boy's dream, it's hard to live a life of no fans cheering you on. Story say's it all. It's never to late

Charles Osborne
Charles Osborne

This kid is my younger cousin who I looked up to. I felt disappointed in him when this happened. But I like God will always love him no matter what his faults are. He is a great guy / and a great man that has suffered with our family losses. His grt grandparents Floyd & Mary Garrett, His grand father, Jack L Garrett Sr, Grt Aunt Carole June Garrett Osborne, grt Uncle Robert Garrett, and his best friends on the Cleveland Orginization . We will miss them all and love them all .

Diz
Diz

I knew Kevin, personally, several years ago. I am just now reading this article, and feel great sadness for him. I hope Kevin is alright. This is one of those times when you hear about someone you know, or knew at one time, and something goes wrong in their life - that you wish you could have been there - and possibly made a difference. I'm so sorry Kevin!

l williams
l williams

I knew Kevin through a friend of mine named Joe Skalski. They both pitched for the Indians. I always liked "Flash", he is a great guy.

 
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