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Cincinnati’s Vada Pinson Arrested on Assault Charge

Sept. 4, 1963 - Dennis Bennett, a left-handed pitcher for the Phillies, singled to drive in the tie-breaking run in the fifth inning tonight and went on to pitch the Phils to a 3-2 victory over the Reds. After the game, police arrested Vada Pinson (pictured) on an assault and battery warrant sworn out by Earl Lawson, a sportswriter for the Cincinnati Post and Times-Star, whom the Reds’ centerfielder pushed in the Reds’ clubhouse. “I was coming out of [Reds manager] Fred Hutchinson’s office,” Lawson said, “when Pinson started yelling and waving a clipping. He was screaming about something I wrote. I started to walk away, and he grabbed me by the collar and started shoving me and pushed me up against the wall.” Lawson left the clubhouse, summoned the police, and pressed charges against Pinson. Pinson’s version of the incident differs radically. “He wrote that I refused to take orders to bunt,” Pinson said before heading to the police station. “People read that and think I’m disobeying Hutch. Let’s go ask him if he’s ever told me to bunt and I haven’t. Why should he write stuff like that?” “What do they want from Pinson?” teammate Frank Robinson chimed in. “He’s hitting .322 and having a great year. If he hits .400, they’ll want him to hit .500. The writers can’t be trusted. Their word is no good.” Pinson was taken to police headquarters, booked, and released on $300 bail for appearance in police court tomorrow morning.


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