Former World Series Most Valuable Player John Wetteland was charged with child sex abuse charges, according to reports.
Wetteland, 52, pitched 12 years in Major League Baseball, playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Montreal Expos, New York Yankees, and Texas Rangers.
The Dallas Morning News on Jan. 15, reported that Wetteland was charged Monday with abusing a child under the age of 14 on a continuous basis. He posted $25,000 bond and was released the same day.
In the 1996 World Series between the Yankees and Atlanta Braves, he won the World Series Most Valuable Player Award. He retired in 2000.
He was the closer on the 1996 World Series champion Yankees and was the series’ MVP.
The New York Post described the series: “Wetteland was the closer on the 1996 World Series champion Yankees and was the series’ MVP. Wetteland closed out all four games of the World Series against the Braves. Wetteland’s raised arms from Game 6 after the final out fell into Charlie Hayes’ glove is one of the iconic photos from that championship.”
He was inducted into the Rangers Hall of Fame in 2005, and he remains the Rangers’ all-time leader in saves.
More details on the investigation weren’t immediately available.
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services referred his case to Bartonville police, said Chief Bobby Dowell in the Morning News report.
Bartonville police sent out a warrant for his arrest, which was served Denton County Sheriff’s Office.
Former World Series MVP John Wetteland has been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing a child under the age of 14.
He was 48-45 with 330 saves and a 2.93 ERA between 1989 and 2000, AP reported.
After his playing career, he coached for the Washington Nationals and Seattle Mariners.
He was fired from his Nationals job in 2006, the paper reported, after he allegedly played too many practical jokes.
“They seem to focus a little bit more on practical jokes and fooling around out there in the bullpen rather than focusing and concentrating on the game, and keeping their minds focused to what they would have to do when they came into the ballgame to get people out,” former Nationals manager Frank Robinson said upon his dismissal.
“I just couldn’t put up with it anymore. I talked to John on a number of occasions and told him flat-out what I needed and how I wanted things done. He just didn’t seem to understand,” he said.
In 2009, he was hospitalized while with the Mariners over a “mental health” issue. But the Mariners later said it was related to his blood pressure and heart, Fox News reported.
NEW: Former Yankees pitcher John Wetteland arrested on child sex abuse charges
According to the Dallas Morning News, Wetteland taught Bible studies and coached baseball at a Christian school in 2007 to 2008.
It’s unclear if the sex abuse charge has anything to do with the school, but the Morning News reported that he has no longer any connection to it.
One of The Nation’s Most Serious Concerns
According to a report published by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (pdf), around 3.5 million children in 2016 were the subjects of at least one maltreatment report to authorities.
“Child abuse is one of the nation’s most serious concerns,” the authors of the report wrote.
About 17 percent of those reports were substantiated, and the department said that there were an estimated 676,000 victims of child abuse and neglect. That amounts to 9.1 victims per 1,000 children.
Children in their first year of life had the highest rate of victimization at 24.8 per 1,000 children, the report said.
About three-fourths of the cases were neglect, and about 18 percent were physical abuse. Some children suffered from multiple forms of maltreatment, the HHS said.