Lonnie Smith May Testify First in Drug Trial

Lonnie Smith of the Kansas City Royals is expected to be the first witness to testify today in a federal court in Pittsburgh in the cocaine trafficking trial of Curtis Strong, a former Philadelphia Phillies clubhouse caterer.

Keith Hernandez of the New York Mets will be called to testify after Smith, said sources close to the case who requested anonymity.

Strong, 38, of Philadelphia, is charged with dealing in cocaine 16 times between 1980 and 1984 on dates when the Pittsburgh Pirates were playing at home.

Smith has confessed to several years of cocaine abuse and testified under a grant of immunity before a federal grand jury that indicted Strong and six other Pennsylvania men on drug trafficking charges in May.

Smith is one of 10 players identified last week in court documents as prospective witnesses in the case.


Among the other players who could be called are Dave Parker of the Cincinnati Reds, Rod Scurry of the Pirates and Al Holland of the Angels. It reportedly was on Holland’s recommendation that Strong was hired this April as a Philadelphia Phillies’ caterer until being asked to quit after five games.