WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) _ Charges were dropped on Tuesday against former baseball star Denny McLain, who had been accused of concocting a scheme to sell worthless telephone calling cards.

McLain, who in 1968 became the last pitcher to win at least 30 games, had been indicted with John A. ``Junior'' Gotti.

The prosecution concluded proving the case would be ``very difficult'' and withdrew conspiracy and fraud charges against McLain, Anthony Plomitallo and Michael Zambouros.

The 55-year-old McLain had been in Westchester County Jail awaiting trial. He will return to federal prison in Lewis Run, Pa., where he must serve about five more years of an eight-year sentence for a meatpackers' pension-fund swindle.

``He's happy now that this is behind him and now he's looking to just going back to the institution and doing what he has to do to get out,'' said his lawyer, Domenick Porco.

McLain, Plomitallo, 35, of Mineola, and Zambouros, 55, of Jupiter, Fla., were indicted last year with 36 other men in a roundup of suspected organized crime figures.

McLain was the only one not charged with racketeering, and Porco sought to keep him from being tried with Gotti. McLain, much heavier than in his playing days with the Detroit Tigers, attended many of the pretrial court sessions with Gotti.

By the time Gotti pleaded guilty this year to racketeering and other charges _ the phone-card charges were dropped _ McLain had been separated from his case. Gotti's sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 3.