Let’s remember exactly who Denny McLain is

Editor,

Sunday’s sports section featured a story about former Detroit Tiger, Denny McLain, signing autographs (and making money doing so) in Three Oaks. The article is titled, “Still a fan favorite.” Scant mention is made of McLain being a “controversial figure” and that “he got into a little trouble”. A “little” and “controversial” are relative terms, so let me remind folks of McLain’s past.

Denny McLain is a two-time convicted felon who spent time in prison. According to the April 26, 1986 L.A. Times, “McLain, major league baseball’s last 30-game winner, was sentenced Thursday to 23 years in prison by a federal judge who chided him for not accepting his conviction on racketeering, extortion and drug-dealing charges.”

After McLain got out of prison for that sentence, A Dec. 2, 1996 Associated Press article states what he did next. “A federal grand jury indictment charged McLain, (and business partners) with conspiracy, theft from a pension plan, mail fraud and money laundering.” According to a Dec. 12, 1996 N.Y. Times article, McLain was convicted of “looting $3 million from (Saginaw County-based Pete Packing) company’s pension fund.” The Pete Packing company was bankrupted and probably the largest employer in Chesaning, Mich. in southern Saginaw County went out of business. Some 200 employees lost their jobs.

My guess is that some 23 years later, feelings are still very raw in my hometown of Chesaning, Chippewa for “place of the Big Rock” and a former sacred gathering place for Native American tribes.

Al Kaline, Willie Horton, Mickey Stanley, Mickey Lolich, Jim Northrup, Gates Brown, etc. are all fan favorites and well deserving of honors for the Tigers’ World Series victory of 1968. McLain, because of his subsequent criminal actions and convictions related to Pete Packing Company – not so much.

Robert Burgess

Stevensville

Upton touts Trump economy but ignores Trump

Editor,

In a recent newsletter from Congressman Fred Upton, he states: “Additionally, we discussed the strong economic growth we’ve witnessed in Michigan and across the country. The proof is in the pudding. Nearly six million jobs have been created since January 2017. The unemployment rate remains at its lowest point in half-a-century. The GDP grew at more than 3 percent in the first quarter of 2019.”

Gosh, you don’t suppose President Trump had anything to do with this, do you? Upton shamelessly revels in the results of Trump’s policies as if they were his own. But he continues to studiously avoid even mentioning Trump’s name in a positive way.

It’s disgusting. I used to actively support Upton. But he has lost his way.

Thomas McCort

New Troy