The locker of baseball Hall of Fame member Willie Mays was a source of amphetamines when Mays played with the New York Mets in 1973, retired outfielder John Milner testified Thursday in a federal cocaine trafficking trial.
The former Met said his first introduction to a liquid amphetamine called “red juice” was from a bottle he took from Mays’ locker. Milner also said that amphetamines were regularly placed in his own locker when he was with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1978 through part of the 1981 season.
Defense attorney Adam Renfroe asked Milner whether management had given him the “red juice” or “greenies,” another type of amphetamine.
“Management wasn’t giving me greenies or red juice or speed--Willie had the red juice,” Milner said. He added, however, that he had not seen Mays take amphetamines.
Mays, who joined the Mets in 1972, said that his locker “was an open book. Anybody could go into my locker because I never had anything to hide.”
As to whether he ever used “red juice” or any stimulant, Mays said: “My record speaks for itself. I never missed a game for misusing my body. I’m 54 right now and I’m in fairly good shape. I could never have played like I did if I’d misused my body.”
Mays was upset that his name came up.
“I don’t think I’m involved in any of the issues in the case in Pittsburgh,” he said. “I’m against all that, very much so. This is a trial of a different meaning. These guys are into hard, hard drugs.
“Why am I going to be on trial for what he says he thinks he saw in my locker? It’s a shame a man can be crucified for one statement, to play all those years and have one statement crucify me. I hope the people won’t take that one statement and crucify me.”
Milner was testifying in the trial of Curtis Strong, 38, a Philadelphia caterer charged on 16 counts of selling cocaine to major leaguers in Pittsburgh between 1980 and 1984.
Milner also testified that he bought cocaine from Strong several times in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. One transaction occurred in the restroom of the Pirates’ home clubhouse during a baseball game, he said.