Former Yankees, Rangers Pitcher John Wetteland Arrested for Sexual Abuse of a Child

Former Major League Baseball pitcher and 1996 World Series MVP John Wetteland was arrested in Texas Monday on a child sex abuse charge, authorities said.

The 52-year-old is accused of continually abusing a child under the age of 14, according to Denton County Jail records. He posted a $25,000 bond and was released from jail the same day he was arrested, according to CBS Sports.

The Associated Press reports that after the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services contacted the Bartonville Police Department last week, an arrest warrant was issued for the former New York Yankees closer, who lives in the Dallas-area suburb of Trophy Club.

john-wetteland-getty-HENNY RAY ABRAMS : Stringer
(Photo: HENNY RAY ABRAMS / Stringer, Getty)

Bartonville Police Chief Bobby Dowell said that because of the nature of the offense and the stage of the investigation, he had no further details to release. DFPS spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales told the Associated Press that details of the agency's cases are confidential.

Wetteland is accused of having a child perform a sex act on him, beginning in 2004 when the child was 4, according to a consolidated complaint and probable cause affidavit. The accuser said it happened twice more during a two-year period.

The charge Wetteland faces is a first-degree felony that carries a maximum lifetime sentence and a minimum of 25 years in prison, USA TODAY reports.

Wetteland's long and flourishing career in baseball spanned 12 seasons from 1999 to 2000 and peaked as the 1996 World Series MVP for the Yankees; he remains the Texas Rangers' all-time leader in saves. He retired after the 2000 season and was inducted into the Rangers Hall of Fame in 2005.

The Rangers said in a statement that they "have been made aware of this situation [Wetteland's arrest] and have no further comment."

Throughout his 12 seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Montreal Expos, Yankees and Rangers, Wettleland racked up 330 saves with a 2.93 ERA.

After retiring as a player, he served as a bullpen coach for the Washington Nationals and Seattle Mariners. In 2006 he was fired from the Nationals for allegedly playing too many practical jokes, and in 2009 was hospitalized during his employment with the Mariners over what was originally thought a "mental health" issue. Media outlets reported that police responded to a 911 call at his Texas home, saying Wetteland was contemplating suicide. The former pitcher said in a statement at the time that "the circumstances leading to my elevated blood pressure and heart rate have been addressed."


Wetteland has also coached baseball and led Bible studies at Liberty Christian School in Argyle, Texas. Fox News reports that he had no connection to the school at the time of his arrest.