Baseball player charged with pulling fire alarm

August 12, 1997


Staff Writer

A highly touted minor league baseball player in town to play the Hagerstown Suns was charged Sunday morning with pulling a false fire alarm, a City of Hagerstown fire marshal said Monday.

Jason Christopher Dellaero, 20, a shortstop for the Hickory Crawdads, was released on his own recognizance on Sunday, according to Washington County District Court's criminal clerk office.

A conviction on the misdemeanor is punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine, said Fire Marshal Tom Brown.


Dellaero, 20, of Florida, was with a few other Crawdads players when a witness reported seeing a fire alarm pulled at Action Industries, 14 N. Mulberry St., at 1:53 a.m. on Sunday, Brown said.

Dellaero said this morning he had no comment about the fire alarm charge. He said he had not been penalized by the team.

Chris Cron, the Crawdads' manager, had little comment while his team took batting practice Monday afternoon.

"We just found out about it today. We'll take care of it amongst ourselves," he said.

Dellaero was in the lineup for Monday night's game.

The North Carolina team is a Chicago White Sox affiliate. Dellaero was the team's No. 1 draft pick in the 1997 draft, Cron said.

South Atlantic League President John Moss said the league would wait for the court's decision before deciding whether to issue any penalty against Dellaero.

While there is no specific penalty structure, there is a "best interest of baseball" clause that allows the league to penalize players for illegal actions, Moss said.

The team, the league and the National Association of Baseball Leagues will review the matter for possible penalties, Moss said. If it becomes serious, the matter will be reviewed by the office of Major League Baseball's acting commissioner, Bud Selig, he said.

Dellaero was released in time to play in Sunday evening's game against the Suns. He went 2-for-4, including a home run, during the Crawdads' 6-2 win over the Suns.

- Staff Writer Brendan Kirby contributed to this story.

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