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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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Paul Rubin
Contact: Paul Rubin