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‘Traficant Release Night’ scrapped by Scrappers



Published: Thu, August 13, 2009 @ 12:00 a.m.

photo

Jim Traficant leaves federal court April 11, 2002 after being found guilty.

The canceled event received national attention.

By David Skolnick

NILES — The Mahoning Valley Scrappers are scrapping a “Traficant Release Night” promotion.

The team will make an official statement today. But Dave Smith, the Class A short-season minor league baseball team’s general manager, confirmed Wednesday that the event is canceled.

The event was scheduled for Sept. 2, the day ex-U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. is to be released from federal prison after serving seven years for racketeering, bribery, obstruction of justice and tax evasion.

After the event was included in a Sunday article in The Vindicator, the Scrappers were “flooded with e-mails and phone calls” objecting to the promotion, Smith said.

The event was going to mention Traficant’s release and likely include a slide show of the former congressman, and not be a celebration, Smith said.

In a Wednesday article, Smith said the negative response to the Traficant event had the team “strongly leaning” toward canceling it.

The team also received telephone calls and e-mails Wednesday in response to the follow-up article, Smith said.

“The [Wednesday] article fired people up,” he said.

“It’s been a fun couple of days,” Smith said with sarcasm in his voice.

The Scrappers original plan to have “Traficant Release Night” received a mention on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” on Tuesday.

“Remember Jim Traficant?” Matthew said in a short segment. “How can you forget him?”

Matthews mentioned the event, and ended with: “As Traficant used to say in hearing such news, ‘Beam me up, Scotty.’”

During his one-minute speeches on the House floor, Traficant often used the “Star Trek” line, but instead of “Scotty” he would say, “Mr. Speaker.”

skolnick@vindy.com


Comments

1Morrigan(83 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Oh for cryin' out loud! Traficant Night was a gimmick, not a celebration of Jimbo's release. To all those who called the Scrapper's office to complain; dust off your sense of humor and worry about things more important than a baseball team's silly gimmick to get butts in the seats.

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2JHaddle(9 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

If Michael Vick can have a homecoming celebration in his home town without media criticism, why can't Jim Traficant have a homecoming without criticism?

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3davemyers(11 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Too bad......It would have been a fun time for those who would have supported the Scrappers and helped keep the economy moving in the Valley. Instead, the naysayers with way too much time on their hands ruined a potentially profitable and lighthearted event for the Scrappers.

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4najjjj(106 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

You know folks, there is a reason the valley is the butt of so many jokes. Personally I find it very entertaining that it takes so little to entertain some people.......and Traficant is so little, as in small person with no conscience.

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5Goggles_Pisano(4 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Traficant was the only Democrat in memory to actually stand up against the entrenched leadership of his own morally bankrupt party. And boy, did they make him pay for his disloyalty...

He also had The Greatest Sunday Morning Political Show ever.

Welcome back, Jim. We missed you, buddy.

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6scrooge(563 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

One word comes to mind describing the Scrappers decision but I can't print it. Let's see......... a slang for a cat.....starts with "P" ....................Brad Pitt was called this in Mr & Mrs Smith ..........HMMMM

Youngstown was so much nicer when the mob was here

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7rocky14(710 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Yea---Youngstown was so much nicer when the mob was here.Bring back the steel mills too.
Did the 8 years fly by for you Jimbo? What's the wife going to do now that he's back?

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