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Friday, November 25, 2005
Draft Dodger? Gov. Bill Richardson Admits to Not Being a Former MLB Draft Pick

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, a probable candidate for the 2008 Democratic Presidential Nomination, acknowledges that was never drafted by the Kansas City A's in 1966. It has been included in his campaign and biographical literature since he successfully ran for Congress in 1982. The Albuquerque Journal decided to check out the claim, and discovered that he never was drafted.

Richardson, a right-handed pitcher who played at Tufts University, claims that he believed that he was drafted after playing in the Cape Cod League, where a team program indicated that the A's had drafted him. However, information for that team program was provided by either the player--Richardson--or his college coach. Richardson also claims that his name appeared on a "draft list of some kind," and he noted the names of several scouts who told him that he "would or could" be drafted, but all of those scouts are no longer alive.

It is interesting how men sometimes feel compelled to embellish their sports triumphs, as if we need to establish past athletic prowess in order to be "complete." In a very different setting, we can remember George O'Leary lying about playing college football, and how that forced him to resign from the Notre Dame head coaching job. More recently, consider the plight of Reggie Fowler, a prospective buyer of the Minnesota Vikings, who lied about playing in the Little League World Series and also playing briefly for the Cincinnati Bengals.

All of that said, I want my students to know that after the Boston Celtics drafted me in the first round out of Georgetown University in 1998, I opted not to sign, because I wanted to go to law school that much. Granted, that draft occurred in NBA Live '99, but nonetheless . . .


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