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March 26, 2008

Baseball Hall president out

Resignation accepted

COPPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Dale Petroskey's sometimes controversial reign as president of the Baseball Hall of Fame came to a shocking and sudden end Tuesday when he resigned.

“The resignation is the result of our finding that Dale Petroskey failed to exercise proper fiduciary responsibility and it follows other business judgments that were not in the best interest of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum,” a press release issued by the Hall of Fame's executive committee said.

The only addendum to the release came from Hall director of communications Brad Horn. He said Petroskey’s actions were not criminal in nature and that Petroskey did not benefit from them.

Petroskey, 52, also made national news April 19, 2003, when he cancelled plans to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the movie “Bull Durham.” Two of the films co-stars, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, were outspoken against the Iraq war, which started March 19, 2003.

Petroskey sent a letter to Robbins and Sarandon, some of which read: “We believe your very public criticism of President Bush at this important - and sensitive - time in our nation’s history helps undermine the U.S. position, which ultimately could put our troops in even more danger. As an institution, we stand behind our president and our troops in this conflict.

“As a result, we have decided to cancel the April 26-27 programs in Cooperstown commemorating the 15th anniversary of Bull Durham.”

Robbins replied with a letter to Petroskey.

Part of it read: “As an American and as a baseball fan, I was dismayed to read your letter canceling my appearance at the Baseball Hall of Fame due to my public criticism of President Bush. I had been unaware that baseball was a Republican sport. I was looking forward to a weekend away from politics and war to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Bull Durham. I am sorry that you have chosen to use baseball and your position at the Hall of Fame to make a political statement.”

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