Former MLB All-Star, World Series MVP Arrested on Child Sex Abuse Charges


Former MLB All-Star closer John Wetteland has been arrested in Texas on charges of child sex abuse.

The Associated Press reported that Wetteland, 52, has been charged “with continuous sex abuse of a child under age 14.” It allegedly started when the child was 4 years old.

The former New York Yankee was arrested Monday and released on $25,000 bond, the AP report said.

Wetteland lives in Trophy Club, Texas, which is near Dallas. The police chief of Bartonville, Texas, Bobby Dowell, told the AP that the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services contacted his office last week.

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Police investigated the matter and issued an arrest warrant for Wetteland. He was taken into custody by the Denton County Sheriff’s Office, the AP reported.

Due to the nature of the offense, the stages of the investigation and the confidential nature of such cases, authorities had no further details.

The AP reported some details from the consolidated compliant and probable cause affadavit.

“According to a consolidated complaint and probable cause affidavit, Wetteland is accused of having a child perform a sex act on him, beginning in 2004 when the child was 4. The accuser said it happened twice more during a two-year period,” the report said.

The New York Post reported the victim was a male relative.

The AP said neither Wetteland nor his attorney could be reached for comment.

Wetteland — who pitched for four teams from 1989 to 2000 — had 330 career saves, a lifetime record of 48-45 and a career 2.93 ERA. His 330 saves ranks 15th all-time.

In 1996, Wetteland led the majors with 43 saves and was named World Series MVP after leading the Yankees to the championship over the Atlanta Braves. Wetteland had four saves in that series, which remains a record.

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He was a three-time All-Star, including 1996 with the Yankees and 1998 and 1999 with the Texas Rangers. Wetteland also pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Montreal Expos.

The Washington Nationals hired Wetteland as their bullpen coach in 2006, but he was fired halfway through the season by manager Frank Robinson.

According to an article in The Washington Post from 2006, Wetteland was fired for “a long line of transgressions and insubordination that was affecting the chemistry of his relief corps.” Robinson was quoted as saying there were too many “practical jokes” and too much “fooling around.”

In 2009, Wetteland was hospitalized in Texas in what police believed to be suicidal situation, reported the AP.  When police arrived at his home, Wetteland said he “needed help,” the report said.

He was the bullpen coach for the Seattle Mariners at the time. The Mariners said he had an elevated heart rate, reported the AP.  Wetteland had been bullpen coach for Seattle from 2008 to 2010.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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