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People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- October 25, 1993
- Vol. 40
- No. 17
Johnny Bench Takes Heat for TV Shilling
"Unbelievable" is right, says Richard Schrader. As New York City's acting commissioner of consumer affairs, Schrader, 41, has charged Bench and HSN with misleading viewers into thinking they could obtain his baseballs for far less than their market value. In fact, says Schrader, HSN shoppers who called in may have overpaid by as much as 40 percent. (Tuff Stuff, a leading sports-collectible price guide, lists the Johnny Bench baseball for an unamazing $35, and some dealers sell it for $5 to $10 less.)
After being asked to settle the charges last week in New York City, where he faced a possible $5,000 fine, Bench, a CBS Radio sportscaster who lives in Cincinnati with his second wife, Laura, and their son, Bobby, 3, issued a statement: "If in any way I confused or misled anyone, it was not intentional, and I am deeply sorry." Said a spokesperson for HSN (which could be socked with a fine for at least $17,500 for deceptive advertising): "We really don't believe we're in violation of any regulations." Schrader, meanwhile, believes that Bench "was completely unwitting. I can't imagine that he knows the law or consulted an attorney before he went on the air." Which is why, said Schrader, "Bench should have stuck with catching balls and stayed out of pitching products."
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