Ex-Mets Clubhouse Manager Charlie Samuels Indicted

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) —  The Mets’ longtime clubhouse manager amassed a secret hoard of baseballs, hats, bats and uniforms, including an autographed 1986 World Series warm-up jersey, that he intended to use to fund his retirement, prosecutors said Wednesday in announcing his arrest on stolen property and fraud charges.

Charlie Samuels, who was with the team 27 seasons, was awaiting arraignment on the charges, which also included tax fraud and falsifying business records. His attorney was in court and not immediately available for comment.

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“This is a case of the equipment manager leading the national league in steals,” Commissioner Raymond Kelly said, according to the NYPD’s official twitter page.

One of the items allegedly stolen by Charlie Samuels - Queens, NY - May 11, 2011 (credit: Monica Miller / WCBS 880)

One of the items allegedly stolen by Charlie Samuels - Queens, NY - May 11, 2011 (credit: Monica Miller / WCBS 880)

Samuels, 53, also worked as the team’s equipment manager and traveling secretary and had unique and unfettered access to Mets equipment, authorities said.

Samuels stockpiled 507 signed and unsigned jerseys, 304 hats, 828 bats, 22 batting helmets and 10 equipment bags, valued together at more than $2.3 million, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Officials recovered the collectibles at a friend’s basement in Madison, Conn. A commemorative Mets World Champions workout jersey signed by the entire 1986 team and a jersey made after the 9/11 attacks were each worth $7,500.

“Charlie had a wonderful job and was trusted by a great organization and he violated that trust,” Dan Mullin, the head of investigations for Major League Baseball, said.

1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria with the Chief Of The NYPD’s Organized Crime Control Bureau

“This case is a somber reminder that no business, even one connected to America’s national pastime, is immune from fraud,” said Chief Anthony Izzo of the NYPD’s Organized Crime Control Bureau.

Prosecutors did not charge Samuels with selling the memorabilia.

“He was holding onto it as his own private collection so he could one day sell it,” Brown said.

Samuels was fired in November amid claims that he placed bets on games and used Mets checks to cover his debts. The team said in a statement that Samuels was fired following an internal investigation that uncovered policy violations.

We cooperated fully with the NYPD and the Queens District Attorney’s office in their lengthy and thorough criminal investigation,” the team said in a statement. “As this is a pending criminal matter, we will have no further comment.”

Part of Samuels’ job included signing off on meal expenses submitted by the umpire room manager, and he was also accused of padding expenses, then skimming the excess to receive an extra $24,955 in reimbursement from 2007 through 2010. He was also accused of failing to report on his tax returns $203,780 in dues and gratuities he’d received from ball players over the years.

“The defendant had a dream job that any Mets fan would die for — and he blew it,” Brown said. “His greed is alleged to have gotten the better of him.”

Samuels began his career with the National League team in 1976. He was made equipment manager in 1983 and later took on the other responsibilities.

If convicted of the top charge of first-degree criminal possession of stolen property, he could face between eight and 25 years in prison.

Your thoughts on the Samuels saga? Be heard in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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  • brotherd

    Nothing here is a surprise.

    My problem with Samuels is that it was his decision to wear black jerseys at home every day. That fact alone hurt the image of the team. It had always been blue … with orange trim. That’s what they should wear today. And for that matter the whole stadium needs to have one color scheme. Blue, with orange trim. Keep the bricks where they are. That color orange works perfectly. In the big picture, having a consistent brand image is more important than some stolen shirts. Laugh all you want. One reason why the Yankees get great ratings … You turn on the station and you breath a sigh. There it is, blue and white. Its in Yes logo, its on the seats, on the walls, on the uniform. And I’m a Mets fan.

  • dabooch

    Valued pennies on the dollar, sorry mangia mia.

  • dabooch

    Are you kidding 2.5 million dollars worth of signed memorabilia. Today if you dug up Casey Stengel, opened his casket, if Casey sat up and signed your balls, there is no way that it would be worth the cost of the ink you used. Why you may ask, the answer is, anything Mets has pennies on the dollar of the article that is signed.

  • Jimmy

    The thieves are the people that sell that stuff.

  • Kurt Spitzner

    He is innocent until proven to be guilty in a court of law while allegedly facing his peers which by the way has yet to be done.All an indictment means is that they believe there is reasonable reason to believe and the charges are at the felony level.As far as things are concerned I am not sure he is guilty so I will not begin to try and defend his actions although there are many things done by others that make this pale in comparison!

    • Judge Dredd

      thanks for your legal brief there Erin Brockovich, tells us something we all don’t know, but something you missed on your “get your legal degree while staying home” when the feds arrest you it’s because they pretty much have the goods on you.

      I hope you don’t have second chair on his defense, because with you, he’ ll get the chair, yes, even just for a felony charge. The cops do not arrest only those who commit higher crimes & let go those with lesser or as you so gallantly put it “ many things done by others that make this pale in comparison”

      A crime is a crime if it’s illegal. You must’ve missed that part in your stay at home legal class. Your analyst comes because this guy worked for the Mets, if he worked for the Yankees, Phillies or Braves I’m sure your opinion would be much different.

      I’m sure he & ex-Mets clubhouse assistant steroid drugs pushing pimp Kirk Radomski were best friends & we all know what happened to Good’O Kirk

  • Bell Toller

    the orginization has become very racist.

  • Shiney

    sounds like a man with a bad gambling problem for years who paid off his debts with mets merchandise. Such a shame. He must have been doing it for many moons.

    • mookie

      Its all BS .. he is a good man > The poilice should be focusing in on real crime that hurts people . This man has a great history of charituy and community work .

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