Dr. Mike Marshall's Pitching Coach Services

April 08, 1977 Associated Press

Marshall Says Charges Will Be Dropped, To Rejoin Club
Associated Press
April 08, 1977

EAST LANSING, MI:  Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Mike Marshall said he has been told that charges against him will not be filed and he will attend the team's season opener, a newspaper reported today.

Earlier Thursday, Marshall said he is quitting baseball because a feud with Michigan State University officials has upset his family.

But later in the day, Marshall said he got a call from the Ingham County prosecutor's office saying that charges against him would not be filed.  Marshall was tried earlier on a misdemeanor charge involving disrupting a game on tennis courts at MSU.  That trial ended in a hung jury.  Marshall said MSU officials have continued to harass him.  New complaints were filed with the prosecutor by three students.

"I was telephoned by the prosecuting attorney and he said that charges against me are considered frivolous and won't go through," Marshall told the Atlanta Constitution.  "I had no idea action would be taken this quickly."

Marshall also said that a misplaced letter of recommendation which insured him the opportunity of pursuing his doctorate at MSU has been tracked down.  "Given those two happenings, things have changed drastically," said the controversial pitcher.  "I anticipate leaving here...and being in Houston for the (opening) game."

"I'm glad, that's good news," the Constitution quoted Braves mamanger Dave Bristol as saying.  "You like to play with all your men and we'll be happy to see Mike back."

But earlier, Marshall said the feud had upset his wife and children.

"I'm sorry for the ballplayers and fans of Atlanta, but my family comes first," Marshall said Thursday, a day before the Braves' opening game.

The 34-year-old Cy Young Award winner has been involved in court battles with the school, where he's a doctoral student, following a dispute in early 1976 over his use of MSU facilities to practice pitching.

Shortly after he told the Associated Press he was quitting baseball, Marshall talked with Braves owner Ted Turner and did not mention his retirement, a team spokesman said.

"He didn't sound like he was quitting," said Braves official Bob Hope.  He said Turner and Marshall discussed the pitcher's legal problems and Turner offered to help Marshall.

"Ted's suggestions was to offer the Braves' attorneys and to help him (Marshall) move his family to Atlanta," Hope said.  "He seemed to like that."

Four misdemeanor charges against Marshall stemming from that incident were dropped after a trial on the first charge--disrupting a scheduled tennis game--ended in a hung jury.

But Marshall claims MSU officials have continued to "trump up" charges against him, harass him and his family and spread untrue rumors about him.

"As far as I'm concerned, baseball is out of the question until I can get these people (MSU officials) to understand I have rights as a human being, and I won't put up with this," he said.

"If they're going to upset my wife and my family with this, I'm going to be here to defend myself and protect my family.  I don't care if that means all summer," Marshall said.

When asked if he wouldn't eventually return to Atlanta or to baseball, Marshall said, "I'm not sure.  I wish I could give you a more definite answer, but right now I'm more concerned about the number of lies and slanderous rumors they're perpetrating."
,br> What triggered Marshall's decision to leave were new complaints by three students who say Marshall threw baseballs dangerously close to them in the MSU sports arena.  He was praciticing pitching and they were practicing tennis and karate nearby.

Marshall claims MSU officials "purposely designed the situation to cause a confrontation," an idea the officials called "absolutely ridiculous."

Marshall said he decided Tuesday night to leave the Braves and return to his home after spending an hour on the phone with his wife, Nancy, who was distraught over the possibility of more legal battles.

Marshall, whose ego has rankled some baseball fans and players, said he told Turner on Wednesday that he was leaving.  "He told me your family is more important and offered me all the legal resources of the Braves" to help in the dispute, Marshall said.

Happy Pitching Everybody

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