LaTroy Hawkins (born December 21, 1972) is an American former professional baseball relief pitcher. In his 21-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career, he played for the Minnesota Twins, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies, New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, New York Mets, and Toronto Blue Jays. At the time of his retirement, Hawkins was the only active player to be a member of the 1,000-games-pitched club, and at 42 years of age, was the oldest active player in MLB.
Hawkins with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015
|Born: December 21, 1972|
|April 29, 1995, for the Minnesota Twins|
|October 3, 2015, for the Toronto Blue Jays|
|Earned run average||4.31|
Hawkins was born and raised in Gary, Indiana. Hawkins' father was absent and he was raised primarily by his mother, Debra, and his maternal grandparents. Hawkins attended West Side High School. Aside from baseball, Hawkins also competed in basketball and football. At West Side he competed in basketball against Glenn Robinson and received a full scholarship offer to play college basketball at Indiana State. His half-brother, Ronald Sewood, was his personal catcher for two years in high school and played college baseball briefly at Florida Memorial University.
Minnesota Twins (1995–2003)Edit
Hawkins was drafted straight out of high school by the Minnesota Twins in the 1991 Major League Baseball Draft and received a $47,500 signing bonus. He spent the next four years in the Twins' minor league system. His major league debut early in the 1995 season was a disastrous start against the Baltimore Orioles, where he gave up seven earned runs in only an inning and two thirds of work. During his brief stint in the Majors during 1995, Hawkins made 6 starts with a 2–3 record and an 8.67 ERA. Hawkins bounced between the big league club and Salt Lake of the Pacific Coast League between 1996 and 1997, compiling a 7–13 record in those years.
By the 1998 season, Hawkins was inserted into the Twins rotation. He led the team with 33 starts but also led the team in most runs allowed (126), walks (70) and the worst WHIP among Twins starters (1.53). He was the opposing starting pitcher during the perfect game by Yankees pitcher David Wells on May 17, 1998.
In 1999, Hawkins suffered one of the worst statistical season in the majors and in his career. His 6.66 ERA was the worst in the Majors among starters with at least 30 starts. He was tied with Brad Radke for most losses on the team and allowed the most home runs on the pitching staff.
By 2000, Hawkins was in the Twins bullpen, appearing in 66 games while sporting an ERA of 3.39 along with 14 saves.
In 2001, Hawkins would revert to poorness, having one of the worst statistical seasons for a closer in the history of the MLB. He led the Twins in saves (28) but he had 5.96 ERA while having a WHIP of 1.91 in 61 games.
Hawkins rebounded the next two seasons, combining to pitch in 139 games while being replaced as closer by Eddie Guardado. He also had ERA's of 2.13 and 1.86 respectively.
Hawkins became a free agent after the 2003 season.
Chicago Cubs (2004–2005)Edit
Hawkins drew interest from a number of teams before signing a three-year, $11 million deal with the Chicago Cubs after the 2003 season. Hawkins was signed by the Cubs to pitch the 8th inning to set up for Joe Borowski, but Borowski went down with an injury early in the season, and Hawkins took over closing duties. On September 11, Hawkins struck out the side on only nine pitches in a game against the Florida Marlins. Despite a better-than-average ERA of 2.63 on the year and 25 saves, Hawkins blew nine saves on the year, including two during a late-September skid that cost the Cubs the wild card. The blown saves earned him the ire of Cubs fans, who made a habit of booing him loudly at Wrigley Field when he came on in relief.
Hawkins appeared in 21 games for the Cubs in 2005 before being traded to the Giants. When Hawkins came back in 2005 as a member of the San Francisco Giants the Cub fans chanted "Hawkins Sucks!" which angered then manager Dusty Baker and first baseman Derrek Lee.
San Francisco Giants (2005)Edit
On May 28, 2005, the Cubs traded Hawkins to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for pitchers Jerome Williams and David Aardsma. Upon arrival in San Francisco, Hawkins was initially converted back into a set-up role, with the team cautiously optimistic about a return to form. However, Hawkins only showed brief flashes of his previous ability en route to a league-average performance for the Giants.
Between the Cubs and Giants, Hawkins 2005 record was 2–8 in 66 games. He had more hits than innings pitched while having a WHIP of 1.46.
Baltimore Orioles (2006)Edit
Following the 2005 season, Hawkins was traded to the Baltimore Orioles for left-handed reliever Steve Kline. He spent one season with the Orioles, going 3–2 with a 4.48 ERA in 60 games. He became a free agent after the season.
Colorado Rockies (2007)Edit
On December 5, 2006, Hawkins signed a one-year, $3.25 million contract with the Colorado Rockies. On July 8, 2007, Hawkins was the only Colorado player to help the groundskeepers and the entire Philadelphia ballclub with the tarp during a heavy storm in Denver. Despite pitching in the hitter-friendly Coors Field, he posted a 3.42 ERA in 62 appearances, including a scoreless 7th inning in the wild card playoff against San Diego. Hawkins gave up only one run and two hits in five innings of postseason work for the National League champions. Hawkins was part of the Rockies team that went to the World Series for the first time ever but ended up losing the series to the Boston Red Sox in a four-game sweep.
New York Yankees (2008)Edit
On December 9, 2007, Hawkins signed a one-year contract with the New York Yankees, reportedly worth $3.75 million. He became the first player since outfielder Paul O'Neill to wear the jersey number 21 for the Yankees.  However, after returning from a road trip on April 16, he changed his number to 22 in response to the fans' booing, yelling, and calling O'Neill's name when he took the field.
On May 20, 2008, during a game against the Baltimore Orioles, Hawkins threw a head-high pitch over left fielder Luke Scott. Hawkins was ejected by home plate umpire Chuck Meriwether and Scott accused him for throwing the ball over his head. Hawkins was suspended for 3 games and fined an undisclosed amount.
Hawkins was designated for assignment on July 26. During his time with the Yankees in 2008, Hawkins made 33 relief appearances going 1–1 with a 5.71 ERA.
Houston Astros (2008–2009)Edit
On July 30, 2008, the Houston Astros acquired Hawkins from the Yankees for minor leaguer Matt Cusick. Hawkins was an integral part of the Astros' late-season run, pitching 21 innings out of the bullpen and allowing just one earned run over that span (good for an ERA of 0.43). Hawkins signed a 1-year deal with the Astros to return for the 2009 season.
Hawkins continued his success in Houston, sporting an ERA of 2.13 in 65 games, the lowest ERA he had since 2003. He also saved 11 games. After the 2009 season, Hawkins left as a free agent.
Milwaukee Brewers (2010–2011)Edit
In 2010, he was 0–3 while only appearing in 18 games due to injury.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2012)Edit
The Angels and Hawkins agreed to terms on a one-year contract for the 2012 season. Hawkins earned three million dollars, going 2–3 with a 3.64 ERA.
New York Mets (2013)Edit
LaTroy Hawkins signed a minor league deal with invitation to spring training with New York Mets on January 31, 2013. He ended up making the team, pitching in 72 games and ending the season with a 3–2 record and 13 saves (his most since the 2004 season with the Chicago Cubs) with a 2.93 ERA.
Second stint with the Colorado Rockies (2014–2015)Edit
Hawkins was named the Rockies' closer for the 2014 season and finished the year with a 3.31 ERA and 23 saves in 26 opportunities. On September 27, 2014, Hawkins made his 1,000th career appearance in a game the Los Angeles Dodgers and promptly got Darwin Barney to fly out to right field.
On December 12, 2014, Hawkins announced that 2015 would be his last season in the MLB during an interview on MLB Network. He struggled at the beginning of the 2015 season, pitching to a 10.50 ERA in 7 games and recording only one save before heading to the disabled list. Shortly before his injury, Adam Ottavino replaced him as the closer.
Toronto Blue Jays (2015)Edit
On July 28, 2015, Hawkins and teammate Troy Tulowitzki were traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for José Reyes, Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro, and Jesús Tinoco. On August 5, Hawkins became the 13th player in MLB history to record a save against all 30 teams, closing out a 9–7 win over the Minnesota Twins, the team he started his professional career with. He also surpassed Darren Oliver as the oldest Blue Jay to record a save. Hawkins made 18 regular season appearances for the Blue Jays, pitching to a 1–0 record, 2.76 ERA, and 14 strikeouts in 161⁄3 innings.
On October 25, Hawkins announced his retirement.
On November 20, 2016, Hawkins was hired as a special assistant to the Minnesota Twins organization.
Hawkins' half-brother, Ronald Sewood, was sentenced to prison in 1996 at the Federal Correctional Institution, Milan. Hawkins visited Sewood whenever he played against the nearby Detroit Tigers. As of 2013, Hawkins estimated he spent $10,000 on books and magazine subscriptions for Sewood.
As of 2014, Hawkins and his wife, Anita, have a son named Dakari and a daughter named Troi.
- Ringolsby, Tracy (October 10, 2015). "LaTroy Hawkins blessed to be from Indiana". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
- Castillo, Jorge (September 29, 2013). "For Mets' LaTroy Hawkins and his brother, it takes resolve to keep the closeness". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
- Arangure, Jr., Jorge (August 29, 2006). "He's Been Better Than Advertised". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved August 9, 2015.
- "Soxtalk.com > Cub fans "classless" according to Cubs players". www.soxtalk.com.
- C.J. Moore (July 8, 2007). "Rockies' winning streak halted at five, Cook unable to hold lead; Colorado denied sweep in finale". mlb.com. Archived from the original on April 8, 2008. Retrieved December 19, 2007.
- Hoch, Bryan (December 9, 2007). "Yankees reach deal with Hawkins, Veteran right-hander likely to fill setup role in bullpen". mlb.com. Retrieved December 9, 2007.
- "Yanks reliever Hawkins bows to fans' wishes, will switch to No. 22". Sportsline.com. April 15, 2008. Archived from the original on July 24, 2008. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
- "Yankees' Hawkins suspended for high pitch in loss to O's". Sports.espn.go.com. May 22, 2008. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
- Stark, Jayson (July 31, 2008). "Yanks ready to deal Hawkins". Sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
- Alyson Footer. "Hawkins coming back to Houston". Houston.astros.mlb.com. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
- [dead link]
- "Brewers notes: Davis, Hawkins near return from DL". madison.com. Retrieved August 2, 2015.
- "LaTroy Hawkins Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
- "Sports Now". latimes.com. Retrieved August 2, 2015.
- Nightengale, Bob (November 19, 2013). "Sources: LaTroy Hawkins agrees to become Rockies' closer". usatoday.com. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
- Harding, Thomas (November 22, 2013). "Hawkins returns to Rockies on one-year deal". MLB.com. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- Chisholm, Gregor (July 28, 2015). "Tulo Toronto-bound; Rockies get Reyes". MLB.com. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
- Bollinger, Rhett; Chisholm, Gregor (August 5, 2015). "Blue Jays outmuscle Twins in 4th straight win". MLB.com. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
- Chisholm, Gregor (August 6, 2015). "Hawkins makes history with 1st Toronto save". MLB.com. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
- "LaTroyHawkins32 on Instagram". Instagram. October 25, 2015. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
- Beneteau, Josh (November 20, 2016). "Former Blue Jay LaTroy Hawkins hired by Minnesota Twins". Sportsnet. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
- Newman, Mark (May 21, 2014). "Rockies closer LaTroy Hawkins' family at home in the heart of Texas". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
- Nightingale, Bob (September 18, 2018). "Patrick Mahomes – the NFL's hottest QB – grew up in MLB clubhouses". USA Today.
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