President Barack Obama, just days before the United States is sucked into a Terry Gilliam movie, has pardoned Willie McCovey for pleading guilty to tax evasion in 1995. While paying taxes is probably a good idea, it is the official stance of this site that McCovey is above the law and always will be, so this is a piece of good news.
The offenses occurred in the late ‘80s, with McCovey and fellow Giants great Duke Snider failing to report income earned while signing autographs at sports memorabilia shows. They were each sentenced to two years of probation and hit with a $5,000 fine.
If the probation is over and the fine isn’t coming back, what’s the point of a presidential pardon? We’ll let the government answer that one themselves:
A pardon is an expression of the President’s forgiveness and ordinarily is granted in recognition of the applicant’s acceptance of responsibility for the crime and established good conduct for a significant period of time after conviction or completion of sentence. It does not signify innocence. It does, however, remove civil disabilities – e.g., restrictions on the right to vote, hold state or local office, or sit on a jury – imposed because of the conviction for which pardon is sought, and should lessen the stigma arising from the conviction.
Obama was the 44th president, and Willie McCovey wore 44. Coincidence? Well ... yeah, but that doesn’t mean this wasn’t a welcome gesture for one of baseball’s all-time greats. Thanks, Obama!
No, seriously, thanks.
Next up: a pardon for Bruce Bochy for using Eli Whiteside to pinch-run for Buster Posey on July 4, 2010. Feels like we’ve all learned a lot since then.