Philadelphia Daily News - November 21, 1980

Phils Doc Charged in Drug Case

 

By Joe Clark

 

The State Justice Department today announced it has filed criminal charges against a doctor in the Philadelphia Phillies minor league organization for illegally prescribing drugs in the names of five Phillie ballplayers, a former player and two players' wives.

 

In addition, charges were filed against two other men for fraudulently having the prescriptions filled and receiving the controlled substances.

 

Attorney General Harvey Bartle 3d said Dr. Patrick Mazza, 56, a respected Reading, Pa., physician who for the past 12 years has been team physician for the Reading Phillies, Philadelphia's AA farm team, was charged with 23 counts of prescribing amphetamines – also known as "uppers" and "greenies" – beyond the scope of doctor-patient relationship.

 

Also, Robert L. Masley, 54, and his son, Robert M., 24, both of Reading, were charged with fraudently having the prescriptions filled and receiving the amphetamines.

 

RICHARD WEATHERBEE, director of the Justice Department's Drug Law Enforcement unit, said Mazza illegally wrote 23 prescriptions, representing 2,630 doses, by using the names of Phillies Steve Carlton, Greg Luzinski, Randy Lerch, Larry Christenson and Pete Rose and former catcher-turned-broadcaster Tim McCarver.

 

Additionally, the names of Sheena Bowa, wife of Larry Bowa, and Jean Luzinski, wife of the Phillies slugger, were also used.

 

According to the complaint, Mazza, who has practiced medicine since 1957, wrote the prescriptions using the names of the individuals without ever having treated them. One source said Mazza wrote the bogus prescriptions over a period of a year and a half, beginning in April, 1979.

 

Bartle said the players and their wives told state investigators they never had a doctor-patient relationship with Mazza regarding the prescriptions, and that they never received the prescriptions in question or authorized anyone to receive the prescriptions.

 

TODAY'S ACTION comes four months after it was reported in July that the Justice Department planned to question at least eight Phillies – including Rose, Luzinski, Bowa and Mike Schmidt – about obtaining amphetamines illegally. All but Rose played at one time in Reading.

 

Asked if the players have been cleared, a Justice Department spokesman said "it remains an open case," ' adding there is "no evidence indicating participation on the part of any ballplayer in the conduct charged."

 

"Their names were fraudently used for obtaining drugs," said the spokesman.

 

Bill Giles, the Phillies executive vice president, said the club has received no "official information from the authorities and won't comment any further, except to say that a thorough investigation was held last summer and all Phillies players were not involved whatsoever in the matter."

 

Bartle said the addresses Mazza wrote on the prescriptions were "defective in many ways": either they were not current or did not exist. In nine instances, the addresses were those of either Masley or his son's.

 

THE MASLEYS were charged with taking the prescriptions the prescriptions to four pharmacies in Reading and having them filled.

 

The Justice Department spokesman would not say what the Masleys did with the amphetamines once they received them.

 

If convicted Massa could receive a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a 55,000 fine on each of the 23 counts. The Masleys could receive a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $5,000 fine on each of the Counts. Robert Masley was charged with 11 counts of fraudently obtaining drugs, and his son was charged with 16 counts.

 

THE INVESTIGATION began after a routine check of pharmacy files in Reading disclosed a number of prescriptions written in the names of Phillie players and their wives.

 

The investigation initially came to light July 8 in a copyrighted story in the Trenton Times. Quoting unidentified sources, the newspaper said investigators suspected a Reading doctor supplied amphetamines through a "runner," a contact who turned the drugs over to the players without having them go through a medical examination, as required by law.

 

Amphetamines are stimulants used to combat depression, control appetite and overcome fatigue. The effects are similar fo those obtained from cocaine, but milder. Although they are not physically addictive, users can become mentally dependent on them.

 

ON JULY 9, a story in the Reading Times alleged the prescriptions were written by Mazza. The medial community in Reading reacted with disbelief, noting he had a recognized family practice and a sound reputation in the community.

 

 

Mark Helminiak, general manager of the Reading Phillies, discounted the allegations, saying Mazza "is beloved here in the area. He's a low-key guy."

SportsPeople (excerpt)

 

Philly File

 

 

Players from the Phillies, Sixers and athletes from around the country will participate The Garry Maddox Celebrity Bowling Classic, Jan. 12, at the Brunswick-Camden Lanes. Immediately following, The Larry Bowa Celebrity Party will be held at Emerald City in Cherry Hill. Both events will benefit the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic. For further information about tickets for participating or spectating call 243-2828... Phillies shortstop Larry Bowa, honorary chairman of the Fight for Sight campaign, will be presented a proclamation in Mayor Green's office, noon today, designating November as "Fight for Sight" month.

Fan Mail (excerpts)

 

Free? Why?

 

I cannot understand the reason for McGraw and Unser going free agents.

 

Sure they played a big part in the Phils becoming world champions, but what about last year when the "Tugger" was a "Grand-Slam Dream"? What would have happened had his contract ran out last year? He would likely have taken a cut to stay with the Phils.

 

As for Unser, sure, he was a good pinch-hitter. But the Phils did give him a job, something he didn't have. Out of all the teams in baseball, he asked the Phillies if he could report for spring training.

 

I wish them both a lot of luck and hope they get the dough they are asking, with maybe the Mets, San Diego or the Blue Jays. Sure, they are the worst teams in baseball, but 90 percent is playing for a club that's in contention so give them the big bucks and when their team is 15-20 games out by the All-Star break then they can look at the Phillies standing. So long, traitors. – Joe McGuire

 

Stick It, Tug

 

First, I am and always will be, a New York Yankees fan. I have been one for over 40 years.

 

I would like to have this letter sent to Tug McGraw – that's if he can read. He stated in your paper to tell New York to stick it – the Phillies are No. 1.

 

Let me refresh his memory if he has one. The Yankees have won more World Series than any other team. They have the best players on any team or league. They should take a few lessons from Ron Guidry or "Goose" Gossage – they are the greatest pitchers ever.

 

He should take a bath and wash his hair as he is very greasy looking. I can understand now why the Mets got rid of him. I hope next year the Phillies play the Yankees – boy, will they get straightened. – Grace Hennessey, East Meadow, N.Y.

 

A Conlin Classic

 

Bill Conlin: Congratulations on the opening paragraph of your article following the final series victory. In my estimation, it ranks with the famous "Four Horsemen" opening paragraph by Grantland Rice. It expressed the emotion of many, many long-time Phillies' fans at the moment.

 

Not only did you produce a superb piece of writing, you also frustrated the expectation of many of your readers who have followed you over the years. More than a few of us believe that neither you nor Stan Hochman would be able to handle a World Series victory by the Phillies. Reporting that kind of success was widely believed to be outside the field of your expertise. Dissecting defeat seemed to suit your inclinations more closely. You proved us wrong as did Stan Hochman who also had a fine article on that day. – William D. Bailey, Jr., Wilmington, Del.

 

Charges Wrong

 

To say that not one black player was given a chance to speak at JFK Stadium was false. Players were definitely asked in advance if they wished to say anything when called upon by the Phillies' announcer. If you are a real "Phillies" fan you would already know that Garry Lee is shy and the "Baker" is moody concerning public relations.

 

People of all races should realize the Phillies' fabulous accomplishment and stop alluding to racial overtones which only serve to mar this great achievement by these great athletes. – Freddy Dee

 

Tug Greedy

 

 

Tug McGraw could go from the penthouse (the Phillies) to the outhouse (out of baseball)., All because of the word "greed." Tug is not alone. It happens to all ballplayers who get greedy. Mr. Winfield and Mr. Sutton you could be next. – Sal Ravitsky