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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