Friday, July 13, 2007

The Fall of the Son of Sal

The other day I wrote something on celebrities and how we pay way too much attention to them. In it, I quoted something a buddy of mine once said about major league baseball players. This buddy was Joe Maglie, the adopted son of the famous pitcher Sal Maglie, also known as “the barber,” because of his effectively intimidating strategy of pitching inside and high.

With a heavy heart I learned a terrible thing about Joe. While researching for my previous post I found out that he was busted last October, in 2006, on child pornography charges. It seems that he got caught up in a sting.

The articles I found online state that an under-cover Internet detective got Joe to offer to sell him some child porn. That’s all the evidence the police needed for a search warrant, which was served without delay. I read that there was a prodigious amount of kiddy smut stored on two of Joe’s computers located in his home or office, well up into the terabyte amount; enough to download onto hundreds of CDs. Now THAT’S a lot of filth.

Back in the late 80s and early 90s, Joe and I were pretty close pals. We were both still in the Air Force serving in the same unit on Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. Joe was a staff sergeant working as a comptroller; and I was a master sergeant, doing my thing as an aircraft maintenance inspector specializing in avionics. I helped him move twice and we played golf a time or two. He was a basically a good guy and a good friend, someone who was always there for his buddies.

What I remember most about Joe was his continuous involvement in the community. There was not a charitable organization that he wasn’t involved with, and he used to drag the rest of us his Air Force mates, including me, into volunteering as well. With all his benevolent deeds, it seemed there was no one he didn’t know—whether it was the mayor, or local newscasters, and all sorts of other regional celebrities. The base commander knew him by name, which is pretty impressive for a lowly staff sergeant.

I remember asking him if he was related to “the barber,” and he gladly told me, “Yes, he adopted me. I’m his son.” At the time, his pops was still alive, but I guess he was not really in the world anymore due to Alzheimer’s or some other similar mind ruining disease. It was always great talking to Joe about his dad, because he would gladly explain what it was like being around big league baseball as a kid. He even signed a baseball card of his dad for me.

Overall, I knew Joe to have a good heart and he did lots of good. That’s why I’m so sorry that he allowed himself to fall into this child porno trap thing. When I saw the story I felt bad for him that he had descended in such a way that he had basically destroyed his own life, but I was also very angry with him for the harm he was doing due to pure sinful selfishness.

The detectives are quoted that Joe had in his possession countless digital recordings of child molestations. I hope like hell that he wasn’t involved in producing any of it, but even if all he did was download it from file sharing and distributing it, in effect, he was contributing to the very acts done to those children. It’s like drugs—if no one used them… Well, you get the picture.

I know Joe, and I know that intellectually he understands how wrong it was to do what he was doing. The only person he can blame now is himself. I hope his example will influence others to stop it, if they are involved in similar activity. Aside from the terrible harm its doing to innocent kids, on a personal level, it’s just not worth it. Delete it and stop viewing it. Do it for yourself and for the innocent babies, toddlers and young children in the world. They are being horribly harmed by YOU.

Perhaps if you are on the fence on this subject, you should keep in mind little Madeleine McCann. That poor little innocent angel was probably scooped up and swept away from the loving arms of her family, perhaps forever, all because of the same decadent malevolence that Joe Maglie was evidently involved in.

I haven’t lived in Arkansas since 1998, and I don’t really know anyone very closely there anymore; so I don’t know what ultimately happened to Joe. The most recent information that I could find concerning his child porn charges was that he was out on bail for $5,000 and would go in front of a judge for a hearing in December 2006. For all I know the charges were dropped; or, he was found guilty as hell and is sitting in a cell right now. Either way, I hope he’s looking deep within himself and vowing to do good for the rest of his life to atone for all this.

As I said though, I hope to hell that he had no play in making any of this terrible stuff. If so, he should serve a long sentence. Still, regardless of where he is and what he did, I know he has a virtuous side. There is good and evil in all of us, and because of my years of associating with him I know that there is hope for the guy.

Having said that, I hope he comes out the other end of this thing a better man, even if it’s a better OLD man.


Anonymous said...

One thing I thought kind of strange: Im a baseball fan also, and when you mentioned Joe Maglie being the adopted son of the great Sal Maglie, I did an internet search-- I came across the articles you have written about, but in none of the baseball- oriented articles was it ever mentioned that Sal had an adopted son....?

PhilippinesPhil said...

You're right, he adopted two sons. One was named Sal, he died young of some kind of self-indulgent behavior, presumably from drugs or alcohol. Joe was the younger of the two boys. I found just one mention of him on the internet where an author writing about Sal quoted "Joey" as not remembering much about his dad before he was age 9 because he was never home. Sal Sr. himself evidently had a history of his own rather self-indulgent behavior, drank a lot and had an affair while his wife was dying of cancer. There are a couple of books out about the life and times of Sal Maglie; if I was in the States I'd get them for a read... If you have access maybe you can pick one up at the library? Let me know what you find...?

Anonymous said...

I cant seem to find the library here in Villa Sol; is it on New York St?
Seriously, I've had good results ordering books from Amazon either through the Manila address provided by the RAO, or through my street address delivered through the local mail. Postage is a little pricey, but reading, to me, is essential for life so I dont mind paying the price...

PhilippinesPhil said...

Aha! So we are both denizens of this unholy place.

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess holyness is in the eyes of the be-holy-der! (ouch!)

Anonymous said...

Hello Philippines Phil--- my 2007 biography, called "Sal Maglie. Baseball's Demon Barber," is the source of the info you offered about Joe Maglie hardly remembering his father during his childhood, and also the comments you added about Sal Maglie's drinking and womanizing. I'm sorry to hear about what happened to Joe. I "interviewed" him via e-mail for my bio of his adoptive father. He was a somewhat difficult person to communicate with, and yet he was very helpful in giving me the names and addresses of family members, many of whom were elderly folks who remembered Sal Maglie from long before he was a star.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Hey Judith, is it?, that's pretty cool. As a blogger who merely dabbles in the written word, it's nice to hear from an honest to God author. It doesn't surprise me that Joe was helpful as you did your research. THAT was the Joe I know and remember. I hope to read your book some day. Thanks for dropping in.