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Kenny Rogers
A photo of Kenny Rogers.
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Kenny Rogers
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Kenneth Scott Rogers also known as "The Gambler" (born November 10, 1964 in Savannah, Georgia) is a left-handed American Major League Baseball pitcher who has played for six Major League Baseball teams since his rookie year in 1989. Previously lauded only for his fielding and perfect game, he is currently the possessor of 23 consecutive shutout innings in postseason baseball. His career 210-139 win-loss record gives him a .602 winning percentage.

His nickname is "The Gambler" as a play on country music star Kenny Rogers's trademark single The Gambler. He is also referred to as "The Roaster" by radio host Jim Rome a play on the aforementioned Country Singer Rogers restaurant chain Kenny Rogers Roasters

BiographyEdit

Rogers grew up on a 15-acre farm in Dover, Florida. Upon meeting his future wife as a teenager, he told her that he would become a farmer if his baseball career did not pan out.[citation needed] His goal was to play in the majors for three years. After pitching Game 2 of the 2006 World Series, he completed his 18th season, the first of a two-year, $16 million contract.

Signed to the Texas farm team in the 39th round for $1000 when he was only seventeen years old, he graduated from Plant City High School in Florida in 1982, where he played baseball only during his senior season, hitting .375 as a right fielder (he played shortstop in his senior league). He was converted into a pitcher on the strength of his throwing arm and left-handedness. Rogers spent seven years in the minor leagues before making it to the Rangers in 1989 as a reliever. He became a starting pitcher for the club in 1993.

During his career, he has played for the Texas Rangers (1989–95, 2000–02, 2004–05), the New York Yankees (1996–97), Oakland Athletics (1998–99), the New York Mets (1999), the Minnesota Twins (2003), and the Detroit Tigers (2006-present).

Rogers achieved notoriety among Mets fans during his tenure with New York. During the 1999 National League Championship Series against the Braves, he entered in relief in the bottom of the 11th of Game 6, with the Mets down 3 games to 2. After surrendering a double and the baserunner advancing to 3rd on a sacrifice fly and two subsequent intentional walks issued to Chipper Jones and Brian Jordan, Rogers ended New York's magical season by walking Andruw Jones on five pitches with the bases loaded.

He, his wife Rebecca Lewis, daughter Jessica Lynn, and son Trevor reside in Westlake, Texas during the off-season. Both children attend Westlake Academy, the local school. Jessica Lynn is in 7th grade and Trevor is in 4th. He enjoys golf, fishing, and building houses for Habitat for Humanity.

AccomplishmentsEdit

Perfect GameEdit

Rogers became the fourteenth major leaguer to pitch a perfect game on July 28, 1994 with the Rangers against the California Angels. Soon after his feat, he appeared on ABC's Good Morning America on July 29, 1994, and on CBS's Late Show with David Letterman on August 1, 1994. He also met and appeared with Country Western music star Kenny Rogers at a function in Arlington, Texas on August 13, 1994. Coincidentally, his 1994 perfect game was caught by Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez who in June 2007 caught the no-hitter of Detroit Tigers' teammate Justin Verlander, both of whom were teammates of Rogers at the time.

Gold GlovesEdit

Known as one of the finest fielding pitchers in baseball, along with having one of the best pick-off moves, Rogers has won five Gold Glove Awards at pitcher with the Rangers in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, and with the Tigers in 2006.

200 Career WinsEdit

On Sunday June 18, 2006 Kenny Rogers won his 200th game (against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field), during which Detroit set a club record with eight home runs.[1] With the 12-3 victory, Rogers (10-3) became the ninth active pitcher with at least 200 wins.

All-Star Game AppearancesEdit

He is the only left-handed pitcher selected for each of the last two All-Star Games before this year. It was announced on 2 July 2006 that he had been selected for the 2006 AL squad, and was American League manager Ozzie Guillen's pick for starting pitcher. In his first All-Star Game start, he pitched two innings and gave up three hits and one run -- a solo home run to David Wright.

2006 Pennant RaceEdit

On October 6, 2006, Rogers pitched his way to his first postseason win pitching 7⅔ scoreless innings, with 8 strikeouts in a 6-0 Tigers victory against the New York Yankees in Game 3 of the American League Division Series. At 41 years and 330 days old, he became the oldest starting pitcher to earn his first career postseason win.

A week later on October 13, Rogers retired nine batters in a row, in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against the Oakland Athletics, allowing only two hits and two walks in 7⅓ scoreless innings, while striking out six and pacing the Tigers to a 3-0 victory, leaving the Tigers one win away from their first World Series since 1984.

2006 World SeriesEdit

Rogers started Game 2 of the 2006 World Series on October 22, 2006. "We wanted Kenny to pitch two games at home," Leyland said.[2] He left the game with the Tigers in the lead 3-0, pitching 8 shutout innings, retiring 10 straight batters, striking out five, allowing only two hits, with three walks.

During the first inning, FOX cameras caught a smudge on Rogers's pitching hand. Rogers said it was dirt mixed with rosin from the rosin bag, wiped it off and pitched 8 scoreless innings for the win. Major League Baseball spokesperson Rich Levin said the incident was investigated, and the substance was described as dirt. Since it was not ruled to be a foreign substance, per Rule 8.02, Rogers remained in the game. [3] In the process, Rogers extended his streak to 23 shutout innings. Examination of images from previous games has revealed similar smudges in two other games. [4] The national media’s coverage of the incident was dubbed “Smudge-gate”.

PickoffsEdit

Rogers is known for having one of the greatest pickoff moves in baseball history. On July 4, 2007 against the Cleveland Indians, Rogers picked off Grady Sizemore in the first inning for his 90th career pickoff which is second all-time behind Mark Langston who has 91.

In the newsEdit

Rogers had refused to talk to local media during the 2005 season after they published a report saying Rogers was having trouble trying to get the Rangers to give him a contract extension, and that he would retire if he didn't get one.

On June 29, 2005, after walking out onto Ameriquest Field for a pre-game warmup against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Rogers shoved two cameramen, knocking a camera to the ground. One of the reporters then resumed filming and Rogers shoved him again, this time kicking the camera after it had been knocked to the ground a second time. He had to be restrained and was sent home. Larry Rodriguez of Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex' Fox Network affiliate KDFW was taken to a local hospital, complaining of shoulder, arm and leg pain. While in the hospital, Rodriguez made an official complaint of assault against Rogers.

On July 1, 2005, Commissioner Bud Selig suspended Rogers for 20 games and fined him $50,000. While an appeal of his suspension was pending, Rogers appeared at the 2005 All-Star Game in Detroit.

On July 18, 2005, Rogers was charged with a Class A misdemeanor assault charge with regard to Rodriguez and a Class C misdemeanor assault charge with regard to FSN Southwest cameraman David Mammeli. Rogers was cited and released on $1,500 bond.

On July 22, 2005, Selig heard Rogers' appeal of his suspension; on July 27, Selig upheld the suspension. However, on August 9, 2005, independent arbitor Shyam Das ruled that Selig's actions exceeded his authority and Rogers was reinstated effective the next day. Das also ruled the $50,000 fine be converted to a charitable contribution. In all, Rogers' suspension lasted 13 games.

On August 11, 2005, Rogers returned to the mound against the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park. Rogers allowed five runs and seven hits in five innings, on the way to a 16-5 Boston victory. He finished 2005 with a 3.46 ERA in 195⅓ innings. Shortly after the regular season ended, the Rangers announced Rogers would not return to the team.

On October 5, 2005, Rodriguez filed a civil suit against Rogers and the Rangers, seeking an unspecified amount of monetary damages.

On March 26, 2006, Rogers reached an agreement with the prosecution; that if he completed an anger management course within four months, the Class A misdemeanor would be reduced to a Class C misdemeanor.

On June 22, 2007 Rogers returned from surgery to repair a blood clot in his left arm. He pitched six shutout innings and allowed only two hits in a victory against the Atlanta Braves.

Signing with DetroitEdit

On December 8, 2005, Rogers signed a two-year, $16 million contract with the Detroit Tigers. Rogers ended the 2006 regular season with a record of 17-8 and a 3.84 ERA. "We've needed a guy like that for a long time. I'm glad we went out and got him. ... He means a lot to our team and to guys like me," said Tigers starter Jeremy Bonderman, on Kenny Rogers.

Rogers, on his first year in Detroit: "There's a lot of benefits here, by far, that you wouldn't know as a visiting player, and for me, I've been around quite a while, but I appreciate the town, the city, the people. The travel for a baseball player is very hard, but here it's not that difficult. It lends itself to being able to relax on certain days that you could get off. There's just more benefits, especially when you have the quality of people here like Dombrowski and like we have in Mr. Ilitch, those things that you can't take for granted. You add in Jim Leyland and the coaching staff here, and I just got lucky to choose this place.... Right when I went in the door and met them, I knew. I knew where I was going to end up." [5]

On March 30, 2007, ESPN reported that Kenny Rogers would miss three months after undergoing surgery for a blood clot in his pitching shoulder. He made his return on June 22 against the Atlanta Braves, pitching 6 scoreless innings and allowing two hits while earning his first win of the season.

See alsoEdit

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ProfilesEdit

Preceded by:
Dennis Martínez
Perfect game pitcher
July 28, 1994
Succeeded by:
David Wells
Preceded by:
Mike Mussina
American League Gold Glove Award (P)
2000
Succeeded by:
Mike Mussina
Preceded by:
Mike Mussina
American League Gold Glove Award (P)
2002
Succeeded by:
Mike Mussina
Preceded by:
Mike Mussina
American League Gold Glove Award (P)
2004, 2005, 2006
Succeeded by:
Incumbent
Preceded by:
Mark Buehrle
American League All-Star Game Starting Pitcher
2006
Succeeded by:
Dan Haren
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