Bad Wigs Get Baseball Fans in Free on 'Traficant Night'
NILES, Ohio – And you thought James Traficant Jr.'s rug was ugly.
The minor league ballpark in this northeast Ohio city was full of bad wigs as the Mahoning Valley Scrappers celebrated James Traficant Night.
Fans wearing bad wigs won free admission to Cafaro Field for Wednesday's Scrappers game in honor of the former congressman who was expelled from the U.S. House of Representatives and is serving an eight-year jail sentence for bribery and corruption.
Prison officials confirmed earlier this month that Traficant's trademark shock of spiky gray hair is a toupee, which he is not allowed to wear in prison.
Fans also got in free if they declared themselves to be "a son of a truck driver," the ex-congressman's favorite description of himself.
About 150 of the 4,700 fans got free admission for their Traficant antics, and the team staged Traficant skits on the field between innings.
In one skit, a man dressed as an FBI agent chased a man dressed as Traficant around the field, a spoof of the FBI investigation that led to his conviction.
Danielle Devan, of Salem, wore an orange jumpsuit, handcuffs and a fuzzy black-and-white hat for hair.
One man printed up bumper stickers proclaiming "Free Jim" and said he sold about 100 of them for two dollars apiece.
Cafaro Field was built by a local development company owned by the Cafaro family. J.J. Cafaro was one of the lead prosecution witnesses against Traficant, testifying that he bribed the congressman with cash and favors.
For the record, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers edged out the Jamestown (N.Y.) Jammers, 9-8.