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Pirates Say They’ve Settled Drug Suit Against Parker

Associated Press

The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced settlement of a lawsuit against Oakland A’s outfielder Dave Parker involving Parker’s admitted use of cocaine during his years with the Pirates.

The Pirates filed a federal court lawsuit against Parker in April, 1986, seeking to void the contract signed in 1979 under which the team was obligated to make deferred payments of about $5.3 million to Parker.

The lawsuit was scheduled to go to trial in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh next Feb. 6.

Pirates spokesman Rick Cerrone today said the terms of the out-of-court settlement will be kept confidential by mutual agreement. Parker and his attorneys could not be reached for comment.

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Parker, an All-Star outfielder and the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1978, played with the Pirates from 1973 to 1983, when he returned to the Cincinnati Reds as a free agent. He was traded to the A’s last winter.

The Pirates sued Parker after he testified at the September, 1985, drug trial of one of his cocaine suppliers, Curtis Strong of Philadelphia, that his use of cocaine contributed to his playing slump early in the 1980s.

The trials of Strong and another convicted drug supplier, Shelby Greer of Pittsburgh, drew star players from around the National League to testify in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh in what became known as the baseball drug trials. Others testifying to their drug use at the trial included New York Mets’ star Keith Hernandez and former Pirate Dale Berra.


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