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Belle investigation results in 8 arrests

Jul 9, 2002 4:49 AM

The fallout from the investigation into the gambling affairs of former major league slugger and bad boy Albert Belle has resulted in charges against eight more men, according to the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal.

None of the eight people had any direct connection with Belle, who slammed 381 homers in 12 seasons for the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles.

The alleged bookmakers were charged with running an illegal gambling business that took in hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for at least five years.

The discovery of the gambling operation can be traced to an unrelated civil suit filed in 1995 by a teenager who claimed Belle chased and bumped him with his car in an angry episode following a Holloween egg-throwing incident at his condo.

Two years later, Belle admitted in a deposition during the civil suit that he had lost up to $40,000 in gambling on sports events that he said were other than baseball.

Belle was never charged with a gambling offense went on to sign contracts of $55 million with the White Sox and $65 million with the Orioles.

The Indians slugger blasted 50 homers in 1995 and drove in 148 runs in ’96. Belle had 49 homers and a career-best 152 RBI for the White Sox in 1998.

A degenerative hip condition caused Belle to retire from baseball last year at the age of 34.

Lost more than soccer

Great Britain soccer star Rio Ferdinand is reported to have gambled away more than five figures on a trip to Las Vegas, according to the London Daily Star.

Ferdinand, 23, reportedly told his girlfriend Rebecca Ellison that he was flying to Florida with his soccer pals.

Ferdinand, who played for England in the recent World Cup soccer tournament, is a defender for Leeds United in the British pro league.