By Lynda Jones, Editor
In the February 6, 2010 issue of The Milwaukee Courier, free-lance sports writer Frederick Dakarai wrote a wonderful feature article on a “supposed” future big league baseball player, Montaous Walton. Walton sat down with Dakarai as he had done previously with various area reporters and enthusiastically gave an interview where he talked for over forty five minutes about his rise to a promising baseball career.
He was most proud of “being signed by Minnesota Twins baseball scout, Billy Corrigan.” A quote that he had given to The Courier in Dakarai’s article, The MATC Times back in September of 2009, The Community Journal in November, 2009 and again in May 2010, and even on WTMJ Channel 4 on a March 7, 2010 news brief “Big League Dreams”. He also claimed in his article with Dakarai and others that he attended Eastern Michigan University where he said that he played two years and had 22 stolen bases his sophomore year. He said that he became home sick and transferred to UW-Whitewater.
The unfortunate update to this story is that it appears that this young man had “fantasies” not “dreams”, and he created a career that cannot be verified by any of the sources that he names in any of the articles written in the above mention mediums. Even the part about Eastern Michigan University, according to Dan Wyar, Athletic Media Relations contact for the Eastern Michigan University baseball team, “We have no record of him ever playing for EMU. Going through archived stats, rosters, media guides, and even contacting members of the former coaching staff (who have never heard of him), we have determined that he has never been a part of the Eastern Michigan baseball program, and anything indicating he was is an absolute falsehood.”
The Courier was first alerted a couple of weeks ago, as was The Community Journal that there was a possibility that our publications had been conned by Walton. The source shared contact information, and Dakarai followed up on the information that was shared. No one knew Walton, and Billy Corrigan whose name had been thrown around countless times had no idea who Walton was.
Upon being confronted by Dakarai, Walton continued to stand by his original story, and attempted to add more information that still could not be verified. He had even lied about his age. He told Dakarai that he was 21 years-old, in the MATC Times article, he says that he was 23 years-old at the time.
Walton had even taped a upcoming segment of the local program “Black Nouveau”, who were also alerted of the alleged fraud, so that they could pull the segment before it aired.
“This entire situation is very disturbing to me. This young man blew me away with his bright smile and positive attitude about life. He could not stop busting out with this huge smile and laughter throughout our interview.” Dakarai said.
Dakarai had even spent time with Walton after their interview, he was even present with him during the taping of the “Black Nouveau” segment where Walton wore the same Minnesota Twins hat that he sported during his Courier interview, and on the WTMJ Channel 4 segment.
Dakarai tried to talk to Walton about the major discrepancies in his stories, and flat out lies, Walton agreed to call and speak with me (Lynda Jones, Editor) and he agreed to call “Black Nouveau” he hadn’t yet as I write this article. The purpose of this article is to set the record straight as much as we can. And even in our fact finding search on Walton, there are articles, facebooks, and blogs that write about him being a promising big leaguer, unfortunately it all appears to be a big made up fantasy from Walton himself. The Courier will also pull the original article off our website immediately, and we encourage any other media to do the same.
As the editor of the Courier, we have a responsibility as stewards of the press to correct information that even we had a part in putting out.
This type of story also demonstrates just how an individual can use the internet and its social programs to create and perpetrate a fraud.