In 2007 Hall of Fame first baseman Orlando Cepeda was pulled over in California with marijuana, cocaine and a syringe in his car. After a prosecutor became convinced Cepeda’s belief that the cocaine bindle was methamphetamine bolstered the argument that the drug wasn’t his, he was permitted to plead no contest to a simple marijuana misdemeanor. Some suggested the 69-year-old slugger got off too easily, especially in light of his 1975 arrest for smuggling several pounds of marijuana, a transgression for which he served 10 months in prison.
In 2000 another power-hitting first basemen, former St. Louis Cardinal Pedro Guerrero, got off even lighter for his misdeeds thanks to a flash of legal pyrotechnics. After being implicated in an arranged $200,000 drug deal, Guerrero was acquitted when his attorney persuaded jurors that his client who boasts an IQ of 70 wasn’t smart enough to realize what he was doing. “He doesn’t have the acumen or the ability to finance anything more complicated than lunch,” declared attorney Milton Hirsch.
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