David Eugene LaRoche (born May 14, 1948) is a former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher and current pitching coach for the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. LaRoche is most famous for throwing his own variant of the eephus pitch, which he called "La Lob". Over his career, LaRoche went 65–58, with 819 strikeouts in 1,0491⁄3 innings pitched. He has a career 3.53 ERA.
Laroche in 1981
|Born: May 14, 1948|
Colorado Springs, Colorado
|May 11, 1970, for the California Angels|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 23, 1983, for the New York Yankees|
|Earned run average||3.53|
|Career highlights and awards|
Before retiring from baseball following the 2015 season, LaRoche was the pitching coach for the New York Mets' short-season affiliate, the Brooklyn Cyclones. He is the father of former MLB players Adam LaRoche and Andy LaRoche.
LaRoche was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. His surname was Garcia, but he changed it to LaRoche at age seven, the last name of his stepfather. "LaRoche is French, but I have no French in me", Andy LaRoche said. "My grandfather was 100% Mexican." According to the 1979 Complete Handbook of Baseball, LaRoche decided to change his name because classmates often teased him because an overweight, bumbling character on the then popular television program Zorro was named Sergeant Garcia.
LaRoche was drafted by the California Angels in the 5th round of the 1967 amateur draft out of West High School in Torrance, CA. He made his debut for the California Angels in 1970 and went on to pitch 14 seasons in the major leagues.
During his time as a player representative for the Minnesota Twins LaRoche had a reputation as a troublemaker. According to Twins public relations director Tom Mee, LaRoche "complained about everything. In fact, they filed a grievance about the choice of ice cream we had in the clubhouse. [He] loved to agitate, and it was not right." According to Rod Carew, "He was always negative about everything in the locker room. I finally got tired of it one night...we were having a team meeting and he was constantly interrupting people. I said to him, 'Just shut up and listen to what the guys have to say.' He asked what I was going to do about it, so I challenged him to a fight. There was a broom closet in the back of the clubhouse. I opened its door, turned on the light and said, 'Come on, let's go in.' As soon as he walked in, I turned off the light, closed the door and whaled away at him." According to Twins teammate Bert Blyleven, "A reporter asked him why he wanted to be player rep and Dave said, 'Because all the player reps under Calvin Griffith get traded.'"
- Associated Press. "A 28-Mile-an-Hour Pitch Picked Up Steam in New York," New York Times (JULY 4, 2009).
- Schneider, Russell (2004). The Cleveland Indians Encyclopedia. Sports Publishing, LLC. p. 208. ISBN 1582618402. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
- Steve Henson, Los Angeles Times, "Andy La Roche wants a little space. Is that so wrong?" (February 21, 2007)
- "Dave LaRoche Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.
- The Twins at the Met, 2009, Beaver's Pond Press, Edina Minnesota, page 131
- Graham, Luke (May 3, 2009). "LaRoche brings pro baseball ties to Steamboat". Steamboat Pilot & Today. Archived from the original on March 16, 2016. Retrieved March 15, 2016.