Former Blue Jay Willie Aikens released from prison
Former major league slugger Willie Mays Aikens was released from a U.S. federal prison in Georgia Wednesday after spending nearly 14 years behind bars.
Aikens, 53, was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison after a 1994 incident in which he was found guilty of crack cocaine distribution, bribery and gun charges.
Last year, based on evidence that, on average, federal sentences for crack cocaine convictions were on average three to four years longer than for powder cocaine, the U.S. Sentencing Commission revised guidelines and allowed several thousand prisoners like Aikens to apply for a sentence reduction.
"It hasn't really sunk in yet," Aikens told ESPN.com on Wednesday. "I feel excited and blessed. It went by quick. I'm coming back to a new world."
Aikens hit 110 home runs and had 415 runs batted in with a .271 average in parts of eight seasons in the majors. He spent the last 105 games of his career with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1984-85, mostly as a designated hitter.
His best season was in 1980, when he hit 20 home runs and had 98 RBIs with the Kansas City Royals. He hit four homers and knocked in eight runs in the World Series that year, but the Royals lost to the Philadelphia Phillies.