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Hawkins was drafted straight out of high school by the Minnesota Twins in the 1991 amateur draft, and 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. Hawkins bounced between the big league club and Salt Lake of the PCL over the next few years, finally landing in the Twins' bullpen permanently in 1998. He was also the opposing starting pitcher during the perfect game by Yankees pitcher David Wells on May 17, 1998.
Sporting a mid-90s fastball, Hawkins was used by the Twins as their closer during the 2000 and 2001 seasons, but eventually lost the job to Eddie Guardado. In the set-up role, Hawkins drew the attention of the league when he posted a 2.13 ERA in 2002. He fared even better in 2003, when his ERA dropped to 1.86 and he struck out 75 batters in just 77 and 1/3 innings. Hawkins became a free agent after the 2003 season.
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 9 saves on the year, including two during a late-September skid that cost the Cubs the wild card. These 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.
San Francisco GiantsEdit
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.
On December 5, 2006, Hawkins signed a one-year, $3.25 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 post-season work for the National League champions.
New York YankeesEdit
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. 
Hawkins was designated for assignment on July 26.
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 playoff run, pitching 21 innings out of the bullpen and allowing just one earned run over that span (good for a 0.43 ERA). Hawkins signed a 1 year deal with the Astros to return for the 2009 season.
- ↑ C.J. Moore. "Rockies' winning streak halted at five, Cook unable to hold lead; Colorado denied sweep in finale", 'mlb.com', 2007-07-08. Retrieved on 2007-12-19.
- ↑ Bryan Hoch. "Yankees reach deal with Hawkins, Veteran right-hander likely to fill setup role in bullpen", 'mlb.com', 2007-12-09. Retrieved on 2007-12-09.
- ↑ Yanks reliever Hawkins bows to fans' wishes, will switch to No. 22
- ↑ Yankees' Hawkins suspended for high pitch in loss to O's
- ↑ http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=3511876&name=mlb_trade_deadline
- ↑ Hawkins coming back to Houston
- ↑ http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/baseball/story/1385415.html
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube