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Maybe Marvin Miller would fare better in a wet T-shirt ...

What with all the revelations recently about fixed soccer games in Europe and a rogue former NBA referee admitting to various forms of skullduggery, a sordid episode from my own past has been eating at me, prompting a bit of confession of my own.

Thirty-two years ago – in the middle of America’s celebration of our Bicentennial, for Pete’s sake – I took part in a wet T-shirt contest that I am convinced ultimately turned out to have been rigged. Wow, I am starting to feel better already.

Oh, I couldn’t prove it, and I took no actual part in the malfeasance, but that doesn’t change the fact that a young lady who had earned a $200-$300 top prize (I can’t remember the exact amount) didn’t get the dough.

During my college years I had been the manager of a restaurant/night club/disco called “The Swinging Turtle.” It overlooked Lake Champlain just south of Plattsburgh, N.Y. When the place was bought by new owners in the fall of 1976, I moved on to another restaurant.

Later that fall, the new owners held a wet T-shirt contest and asked me to return as a celebrity judge, which gives you a fair peek into what constitutes genuine celebrity in Plattsburgh, N.Y.

I do recall that the monetary prize was pretty significant for 1976, and so I shouldn’t have been surprised that the handsome young woman reportedly from Boston was selected by the other two judges (names withheld in part because I don’t remember them, either).

The gal who deserved to win was from nearby Saranac, N.Y., and she had been informally sponsored by my best friend, a legendary local figure named Larry Marcotte. He was none too pleased with this gross miscarriage of justice, but he understood that my vote had at least been untainted by any nefarious considerations.

Speaking of such mundane practices as being willing to reveal ballot deliberations, do you think any of the guys who voted against the HOF candidacy of Marvin Miller will ever be man enough to step forward and explain their reasoning?

I am pretty sure that the motivations from the other two judges at “The Swinging Turtle” were decidedly more noble than those of the HOF voters.