Baseball Players Who Did Time in Prison

Every Major League Baseball Player Who Served Time in Prison

The not so legendary list below presents Major League Baseball players who have done time in prison for various crimes. This list excludes those who were "only" sentenced to jail, or received other types of punishments. Prisoners of war are not included.

"There's a lot of times I wished I would have died because I was pathetic. I guess I started digging a hole for myself and it got so bad I got homeless, moneyless, friendless. I just started covering myself up instead of climbing out of the hole." - Sammy Stewart (SABR Baseball Biography, Bill Nowlin, Sammy Stewart , Source )
Major League Baseball Players Who Went to Prison

Names Appear in Alphabetical Order | Research by Baseball Almanac

Player Name

Crime
Sentence
Notes
Attempting to purchase cocaine
3 Months
Served 81 days 1983-84
Distributing cocaine
248 months
Released in 2008 after 14 years
Failure to report to concientious objector camp in World War 2
3 Years
None
Attempting to purchase cocaine
3 Months
Served 81 days 1983-84
Threatening life of mistress
Unknown
Served 120 days
Breaking and entering
1-15 Years
Served 22 months before beginning career
Unknown
Unknown
Served 4.5 months in prison road camp
Grand theft and drug possession
Unknown
Unknown
Conspiring to commit theft
3 Years
Served 11/2005-10/2/2007
Possession of marijuana
5 Years
Released April 1979 after serving 10 months
Theft
2 Years
Escaped after serving less than 16 months
Trying to join Boer army
Unknown
Served six weeks before escaping
Conspiracy to possess heroin with the intent to distribute
18 Months
Unknown
Second degree murder
Unknown
Unknown
Criminal sexual conduct
7-15 Years
Convicted in October 2013
Conspiracy, forgery, and wire fraud
63 Months
Served four years
Investment fraud
55 Months
Served concurrently with above term
Misappropriating public funds
1-10 Years
Commuted to 1-3 years
Transporting alcohol
Unknown
Served one year and one day
Robbery
5 Years
Served three and a half years
Grand theft auto, providing false information
3 Years
Served 15 months 2012-13
Bankruptcy fraud, concealment of assets, money laundering
6.5 Months
Served concurrently with above term
Possession of alcohol
Unknown
Served in Leavenworth & El Reno federal facilities
Bigamy
2 Years
Served nineteen months 1920-22
Growing and possessing marijuana with intent to sell
Unknown
Served eighteen months
Murder
Life
Pardoned in Dec. 1898 after serving 69 months
Embezzlement
5 Years
Served about one year, 1931-32
Parole violation
1 Year 1 Day
Served about seven months in 2006
DUI and endangerment
4 Months
Plus three years probation 2013-16
Aggravated sexual assault of a child and indecency
45 Years
None
Negligent homicide
4 Years Labor
Served two months in 1969
Forgery
5 Years
Served January 1899 to May 1902
Drug possession
45 Days
Served 38 days in 1987
Parole violation
1 Year
Did ten months in 1988
Possession of marijuana and cocaine with intent to distribute
7 Months
Served concurrently with above term
Mail fraud
15 Months
Convicted March 29, 1999
Tax evasion
6 Months
Sentenced September 3, 2009
Domestic violence
6 Months
Served 1883-1884
Second degree murder
Life
Served 1925-1930, pardoned *
Armed robbery
5-15 Years
Served 4/1970-7/1973
Unintentional murder
12 Years
Served 1996-2000 in Venezuela
Manslaughter
6-12 Years
Pardoned in Dec. 1933 after serving 3 years
Attempting to purchase cocaine
3 Months
Served 81 days 1983-84
Racketeering, extortion, and cocaine possession
23 Years
Verdict overturned after 30 months
Conspiracy, fraud, theft from a pension fund, money laundering
97 Months
Released Oct. 2003 after six and a half years
Public corruption and embezzlement
8 Years
Sentenced September 20, 2017
Unknown
Unknown
In prison according to 1930 U.S. Census
Extortion
9 Months
Served 4.5 months in 1974
Probation violation
3 Years
Served seventeen months 1981-1983
Attempted rape
Life
Paroled after five years in 1949
Tax evasion
5 Months
Served 8/1990 to 1/1991
Larceny
10 Months
Sentenced March 1900, had done time previously
First-degree murder
Life
Paroled in 1960 after serving about 10 years
Possession of crack cocaine
2 Years
Served seven months in 1991
Driving with a revoked license
Unknown
Served five months in 1992
Drug possession
Unknown
Served two months in 1996
Possession of crack cocaine, drug paraphenalia, and larceny
2 Months
Served two months in 1997
Drug possession
Unknown
Served four months in 1998
Drug possession
Unknown
Served five months in 2004
Possession of crack cocaine
80-105 Months
Served 80 months 2006-2013
Probabation violation
18 Months
Served 11 months 2002-2003
Voluntary manslaughter
8 Years
Served about 3.5 years 1894-1898
Armed robbery
10 Years
Served a bit over 3 years, 1963-1967
Sexual Abuse (1st Degree / 5 Counts)
3 Years
Served 26 months, 2014-2016
Attempted murder
14 Years
Served about 5.5 years, 2006-2012
Rape
5-21 Years
Served 3/1912 to 1/1915
Theft
2 Years
Sentenced by Judge Landis, served 1909-1911
Theft
Unknown
Unknown
Attempting to purchase cocaine
3 Months
Served 81 days 1983-84

Player Name

Crime
Sentence
Notes
Baseball Players Who Did Time in Prison | Research by Baseball Almanac
Sources : (1) Clifford Blau
Sources : (2) New York Times
Sources : (3) The Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball
Sources : (4) Baseball Digest


The original research was provided exclusively to Baseball Almanac by historian Clifford Blau. More of his work can be found on his website .
If you know additional details about any of the above incidents please contact us immediately. Please include source(s). Example: Tacks (*) was pardoned after helping during a fire set in attemped prison break!
Were you surprised by the number of former Major League Baseball players who served time in prison? Tell us your opinion on Baseball Fever .
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