By: Nick Ashbourne
LaTroy Hawkins has been playing professional baseball for a long time. He's 42-years-old and has played for 11 different teams over 21 seasons at the major-league level. He began his minor-league career in 1991.
None of this makes Hawkins a star, and he's not going to be enshrined in Cooperstown anytime soon, but he's undoubtedly remarkable. Not only does he deserve credit for his longevity, he's still a very effective reliever. His fastball still sits around 93 mph and touches 95 and this season he has a 3.20 ERA while pitching half of his games at either Coors Field or Rogers Centre.
Hawkins is more than just an oddity, but his advanced age undoubtedly is what makes him such an interesting figure. In light of the trivia goldmine that his career represents the other day I began using the hashtag #LaTroyFacts on Twitter to share interesting tidbits of information about Hawkins.
To say it took off would be an overstatement, but it did generate some interest and so here is an introduction to #LaTroy facts for those of you who are behind. For simplicity they fall into three categories: Baseball Facts, Non-Baseball Facts, and Pure Fiction.
Below I will share some of the best so far in each category, for more search #LaTroyFacts or find me on Twitter at (@Nick_Ashbourne):
LaTroy Hawkins has seven career balks, but none since 1998.— Jeff Simmons (@realjeffsimmons) July 31, 2015
Those a just a brief sample of excellent trivia pieces about the career Hawkins has enjoyed on the field. Off-the-field things have been equally interesting.
One thing that I did not anticipate is the number of fictional #LaTroy facts people would post. While it was not in the spirit of what I originally intended, egged on by Blue Jays blog Jays Journal the responses were in good fun.
Around the trade deadline the Blue Jays turned over 20% of their roster. Hawkins was likely the least flashy of their additions, but he has been solid so far and looks to have an important role to play down the stretch.
The fact that he's one of the more interesting men in baseball is just icing on the cake.