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Snider and McCovey Plead Guilty on Taxes

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From Staff and Wire Reports

Duke Snider, one of Brooklyn’s Boys of Summer, came back to Brooklyn on Thursday, but hardly in glory.

Snider and former San Francisco Giant Willie McCovey pleaded guilty to income tax charges in federal court.

They had failed to report income received from memorabilia and autograph shows, joining a lineup of tax cheats that includes Darryl Strawberry and Pete Rose.

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“I got caught. I’m very sorry about it. I hope to get a second chance from a lot of my fans,” Snider said. “We have choices to make in our lives and I chose to make the wrong choice.”

Snider, 68, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit tax fraud, and McCovey, 57, to one count of tax evasion. Both face fines, but probably not prison terms.

Snider admitted not reporting $100,000 in cash from card shows and memorabilia appearances from 1984-93. McCovey admitted that he failed to declare $41,800 in income in 1989, a year in which he made $87,000, and $69,800 in baseball memorabilia income received between 1988 and 1990.

Both pleas stemmed in part from three days of signing autographs at a 1989 memorabilia show in Atlantic City, N.J. McCovey admitted receiving $33,000 in cash from the show, and Snider said he received $10,000 and conspired with promoters of the show to hide it from the Internal Revenue Service.

It was especially poignant that Snider’s public embarrassment came in Brooklyn, where in the 1950s he was the local favorite in the street-corner debate over which center fielder was the best in New York--Snider, the Yankees’ Mickey Mantle or the Giants’ Willie Mays.

The crowd outside the courthouse included an old man wearing a worn blue Brooklyn Dodger cap.

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Snider said he planned to continue going to the autograph shows.

He said the show promoters told him he did not have to report the income to the IRS, but, “I went to high school. I’m no dummy. I know the IRS tax laws.”

Golf

David Peoples shot a seven-under-par 65 to take the first-round lead in the Deposit Guaranty Golf Classic in Madison, Miss. Peoples leads Dicky Pride and Kirk Triplett by a stroke.

Michelle McGann shot a five-under 66 for a two-shot lead in the first round of the Big Apple Classic in New Rochelle, N.Y. Amy Alcott, Trish Johnson and Brandie Burton were three under par.

Basketball

Hall of Famers Oscar Robertson, Bob Cousy, Dave DeBusschere and Bob Pettit assailed NBA players intent on dissolving their union, saying they are motivated by greed and ego.

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee has raised ticket prices to the Final Four by $30, with the top ticket going to $100.

The committee also said that outbursts like the tirade Indiana Coach Bob Knight leveled at a news conference moderator during the NCAA tournament this year will probably result in game suspensions in the future.

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The Lakers will be at home against Denver and the Clippers at home against Phoenix as part of a 14-game opening-night NBA schedule on Nov. 3.

Tennis

Andre Agassi, looking to win his first tournament since he assumed the No. 1 ranking in April, defeated Michael Joyce, 6-2, 6-2, to advance to the quarterfinals of the Legg Mason Classic in Washington. Fourth-seeded Todd Martin, a game away from elimination in the second set, rallied past No. 14 Byron Black, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.

French Open champion Thomas Muster advanced to the quarterfinals of the $1-million Mercedes Cup on clay in Stuttgart, Germany, by defeating Bernd Karbacher, 6-4, 6-2. Muster next plays Tomas Carbonell, who ousted Carlos Costa, 6-3, 6-2.

Miscellany

The Philadelphia Flyers signed free-agent center Joel Otto, who spent his 11-year NHL career with the Calgary Flames.

Kim Oden’s Team Sony Autosound is the team to beat on the women’s side and Jeff Stork’s Team Sideout is the men’s favorite in the $1-million Pro Beach Volleyball League tournament, beginning today at 11 a.m. at the Manhattan Beach Pier. Pool play among the four women’s teams will be held today and pool play among the five men’s teams will be held Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. The women’s final will be Sunday at 12:30 p.m., followed by the men’s final at 3:30.

The Anaheim Bullfrogs rallied with three goals in the final five minutes to defeat the Vancouver VooDoo, 8-4, in a Roller Hockey International game before an announced crowd of 9,565 at The Pond of Anaheim. . . . Defenseman Mike Butters scored two goals, including the game-winner, as the Los Angeles Blades defeated the Oklahoma Coyotes, 8-7, in an RHI game at the Forum.

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Jeff Purvis’ Chevrolet won the pole for the Humminbird Fishfinder 500-kilometer Busch Grand National race with a speed of 189.921 m.p.h. at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. . . . The American Bicycle Assn. will hold the ABA World Cup of BMX at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank today through Sunday. There is no admission charge. . . . Billy Cannon, who won the Heisman Trophy for Louisiana State in 1959 and later was convicted of counterfeiting, has filed for bankruptcy, citing debts of $1.8 million and only $162,430 in assets.

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