Top Menu

Traficant promo backfires on Scrappers

A Mahoning Valley Scrappers promo noting the release of disgraced former Congressman James Traficant was scrapped after fans told the team they wanted no part of a celebration.

Being on the edge when it comes to promotions can occasionally land you in hot water, as the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (short season; NY-Penn League) found out after scheduling — and subsequently canceling — a promotion noting the release of former U.S. Representative James Traficant from prison.

Traficant was convicted of racketeering, bribery, obstruction of justice and tax evasion in 2002 and was sent to prison. Trafiicant was flamboyant, to say the least, and denied all the charges to the end. Combine that buffoonish attitude with one of the worst rugs ever worn by a politician and you have one of the more memorable public figures in Ohio political history in recent years.

The Scrappers front office, obviously, was focusing on that buffoonish attitude and terrible toupee in scheduling "Trafficant Release Night."

But something interesting happened: the local community rose up and told the Scrappers they wanted no part of any celebration of James Traficant, preferring to put the whole thing behind them. The issue for them is whether the Scrappers was glorifying Traficant. Faced with a sizable public outroar, the Scrappers scrapped the Sept. 2 promo.

Subscribers to the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter see features before they're posted to the site. You can sign up for a free subscription at the Newsletter Signup Page.

Join Ballpark Digest on Facebook and on Twitter!