“Baseball-The Glare of the Light”
This is a tough call to make. Tough to take a stance on. Tough to write about. Tough to watch the young man deal with it.
Tough too to know what really happened.
Oregon State’s top pitcher, lefthand Luke Heimlich, is a player without a team going forward.
1-of the top college pitchers in baseball, he has now gone thru the draft a second time, and has not been chosen.
The Beavers ace is a registered sex offender, for an incident that happened when he was 15-years old.
He is on track to graduate. He has been a model citizen in Corvallis his entire career.
He confirmed his plea agreement after an incident with a 6-year old niece, so there would be no trial, and his extended family would not be put thru the pain of a court case.
Now he says he was co-erced into accepting the deal. A year after being taken off everyone’s draft board, he gets bypassed again.
The family says he was victimized in the legal system. The university has supported the young man thru all the counseling programs he volunteered to enter.
The mother of the daughter says he is not innocent, but refuses to shed details.
The Oregonia newspaper dug up the incident a year ago getting access to the file of police, which showed he had registered as a sex offender.
Now no major league baseball team wants to draft him, and likely none will sign him, as his ‘past’ trails him around.
This is the same game of baseball that has tolerated PED cheats, drug abusers, alcoholics, wife beaters, those guilty of DUIs, gun violations, and more.
For a pitcher, who dominated college baseball for a second year in a row, and went (15-1) this year, his personal trial seems never ending, with no resolve, until some club takes a stand saying everyone deserves a second chance.
The fact he has never been in trouble since, should be some type of message. The fact teammates speak up for him, and a Unigvrsity President has supported him thru his rehab, should merit some consideration.
But because this involved an innocent child who was touched, it obviously makes a difference.
Everyone recognizes the names Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Matt Lauer, Jerry Sandusky and so many more. Now Luke Heimlich’s name is now mentioned in somewhat the same circumstances, with a very different type of victim, a child
You be the baseball exec of a team. Would you take a chance on him, in that he seems reformed?
I would with conditions, and after extensive due diligence.
Sadly, no one else in baseball seems willing, at least not yet.
The glare of the light is oh so strong on this situation.