Yasiel Puig impresses as Tenn. judge drops reckless driving charge

Reckless driving and speeding charges against Yasiel Puig have been dismissed.
(Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)

Good thing Yasiel Puig made all those trips to help that orphanage in Zambia.

Wait, that was Clayton Kershaw? Well, Puig obviously had some involvement, because a judge in Tennessee was impressed enough that he read a letter aloud in court Wednesday detailing his community efforts before dismissing a reckless driving and speeding charge.

While still with the double-A Chattanooga Outlooks back in April, Puig had been arrested for driving 97 mph in a 50-mph zone shortly after 1 a.m.

His hearing on the charges had been postponed several times because Puig had moved on to the Dodgers and was out of town. He was in the Hamilton County courtroom Wednesday morning to hear Judge David Bales deliver the good news.

The reported that after reading the charges against Puig, Bales read a letter from Dodgers vice president and chief marketing officer Lon Rosen that detailed Puig’s community efforts, including his attending fundraisers for the Zambia orphanage.


Rosen said he was referring to Puig’s participation in the “Ping Pong 4 Purpose” fundraiser Kershaw hosted at Dodger Stadium last August.

Prosecutor Neal Pinkston had made the dismissal recommendation, so apparently there was no shock value in the decision. Bales cited Puig’s lack of a previous record, that he lives out of state and his community work in announcing the dismissal.

Bales made effort to emphasize Puig was not treated differently because of his fame: “The state of Tennessee is the prosecuting entity, I have nothing to do with it ... All cases are treated the same.”

Puig had also been charged with driving without proof of insurance. His attorney, Mike Little, said Puig was insured at the time and brought those records to court Wednesday.

On Monday Puig, 22, was named as one of three finalists for National League rookie of the year.