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Dave LaRoche

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David Eugene LaRoche (born May 14, 1948 in Colorado Springs, Colorado) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. LaRoche is currently the pitching coach for the Toronto Blue Jays' Triple-A affiliate, the Las Vegas 51s.

He is the father of current Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Adam LaRoche, and Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Andy LaRoche.

LaRoche made his debut for the California Angels in 1970 and went on to pitch 14 seasons in the major leagues. 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 1049 1/3 innings pitched. He has a career 3.53 ERA.

During his time as a player representative for the Minnesota Twins LaRoche had a reputation as a troublemaker. According to 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 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.'" [1]

LaRoche is of Mexican descent. According to his son Andy, Dave LaRoche's surname was Garcia, however, he changed it to LaRoche at age seven, the last name of his stepfather. "La Roche is French, but I have no French in me," Andy LaRoche said. "My grandfather was 100% Mexican." [2]

LaRoche is often referred to on the Atlanta Braves telecasts. The broadcasters often tell stories about his antics, among other things. He is portrayed as a jokester and flake.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. The Twins at the Met, 2009, Beaver's Pond Press, Edina Minnesota, page 131
  2. Steve Henson, Los Angeles Times, "Andy La Roche wants a little space. Is that so wrong?" (February 21, 2007)

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