Adam LaRoche

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Adam LaRoche
Adam LaRoche on April 27, 2015.jpg
LaRoche with the Chicago White Sox in 2015
First baseman
Born: (1979-11-06) November 6, 1979 (age 41)
Orange County, California
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
April 7, 2004, for the Atlanta Braves
Last MLB appearance
October 2, 2015, for the Chicago White Sox
MLB statistics
Batting average.260
Home runs255
Runs batted in882
Career highlights and awards

David Adam LaRoche (born November 6, 1979) is an American former professional baseball first baseman who played 12 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). He played for the Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, Washington Nationals and Chicago White Sox. He is the son of pitcher Dave LaRoche and the brother of third baseman Andy LaRoche.

Amateur career[edit]

Adam LaRoche was a 1998 graduate of Fort Scott High School in Fort Scott, Kansas, where he played baseball. He was named an All-American in baseball as a senior. His uncle, Dave Regan, was his high school head coach.[citation needed] He played for his father, Dave, at Fort Scott Community College in 1999 before transferring to Seminole Community College in Seminole, Oklahoma in 2000, where he was an All-American and the MVP of the Junior College World Series.[citation needed]

Professional career[edit]

He was drafted by the Florida Marlins in both the 1998 and 1999 amateur drafts, but refused to sign. He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 2000 and signed with the team.

Atlanta Braves[edit]


For the start of the 2004 season, the Braves made LaRoche, who had not yet made his major league debut, their starting first baseman. The left-handed LaRoche platooned with 46-year-old veteran Julio Franco and put up a respectable .278 rookie batting average. LaRoche demonstrated his strong defensive skills at first base, but also a lack of speed running the bases.[citation needed]


LaRoche again platooned with Franco in 2005. While he did hit 22 home runs, LaRoche had a very streaky season. He hit .385 in his final 17 games of the year, but just .105 in the 19 games that preceded that streak. He batted .500 with a grand slam in the Braves 2005 NLDS Series against the Houston Astros. With the offseason departure of Franco, LaRoche became the Braves sole starter at first base in 2006.


On May 14, 2006, LaRoche garnered the contempt of Braves fans, players, and management after a play in which he fielded a routine grounder and lackadaisically jogged to first, and was beaten to the bag by Nick Johnson. LaRoche was heavily booed by the crowd (which continued for some time in the following games) and was benched for the play.[1]

On May 28, 2006, LaRoche contributed two of the Braves' record eight home runs in a remarkable win against the Chicago Cubs. In addition, in a wild game against the San Diego Padres on July 14, 2006, LaRoche hit two more home runs and had five RBIs to help the Braves to a 15–12, 11-inning win. He finished the year with a .285 average, 32 home runs, and 90 RBIs — all career-bests.

LaRoche during his tenure with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2007

Pittsburgh Pirates[edit]

The Braves traded LaRoche and minor league outfielder Jamie Romak to the Pittsburgh Pirates on January 17, 2007 for reliever Mike Gonzalez and minor league shortstop Brent Lillibridge.

During the 2009 season he played with his brother Andy LaRoche with the Pirates until July 22, 2009 when he was traded to the Boston Red Sox.

On May 13, 2009, LaRoche became the first player in major league history to have a home run taken away through the use of video replay.[2]

Boston Red Sox[edit]

LaRoche was traded to the Boston Red Sox[3] for minor league pitcher Hunter Strickland and shortstop Argenis Díaz.[4] In six games, LaRoche would go on to hit one home run and three RBIs, with an average of .263. During his brief tenure in Boston, LaRoche lived with his teammate J. D. Drew in Drew's home in Boston.

Return to the Braves[edit]

LaRoche batting for the Atlanta Braves in 2009

On July 31, 2009, after only spending six games with Boston, he was dealt back to his former team, the Atlanta Braves, for first baseman Casey Kotchman.[5] LaRoche was traded by Boston in order to cut payroll and because they believed that Kotchman would be a better pinch hitter than LaRoche.[citation needed]

Arizona Diamondbacks[edit]

On January 14, 2010, LaRoche agreed to a 1-year, $4.5 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. His deal included a $7.5 million mutual option with a $1.5 million buyout.[6] In his 1-year tenure with the Diamondbacks, LaRoche hit .261 with 25 home runs and 100 RBI in 151 games.

Washington Nationals[edit]


On January 4, 2011, LaRoche agreed to a 2-year contract with the Washington Nationals.[7] His contract paid him $7 million in 2011 and $8 million in 2012 with a mutual option for $10 million in 2013.[8] On April 7, LaRoche hit his first home run as a member of the Nationals, a game-winning two-run home run off Florida Marlins reliever Edward Mujica in the 11th inning of a 5–3 Nationals win. His 2011 season ended with labrum surgery on his left shoulder[9] with career-low batting numbers of .172/.288/.258 (BA/OBP/SLG).[10]


LaRoche's 2012 season began much more successfully, hitting .329 in April. He was a consistent bat throughout the season, driving in no fewer than 12 runs each month from April to August.[11]

LaRoche playing for the Washington Nationals in 2014

LaRoche accomplished a rare feat in early September when he homered in each game of a four-game series against the Chicago Cubs (and hit five home runs overall). The only other players to match this feat are Hall-of-Fame sluggers Babe Ruth, Hank Greenberg, Yogi Berra, Johnny Bench, and Mike Schmidt.[12]

On October 2, LaRoche reached two personal milestones. He hit his career-high 33rd home run, in the process tying a career high of 100 RBI.[13] He earned his first Gold Glove and the Silver Slugger Award.[14]

LaRoche declined his $13.3 million 2013 option on November 1 and became a free agent. Since the Nationals exercised their half, LaRoche wasn't paid a $1 million buyout.[15]


On January 8, 2013, LaRoche signed a 2-year, $24 million contract to remain with the Nationals, that included a mutual option for 2015.[16] LaRoche had a down year in 2013, hitting .237 with 20 home runs and 62 RBI in 152 games.


LaRoche had a bounce back season in 2014, hitting .259 with 26 home runs and 92 RBI in 140 games. After the Nats were eliminated in the NLDS by the San Francisco Giants, the Nats announced they would not pick up LaRoche's $15.3MM option, with the intent of moving Ryan Zimmerman to first base.

Chicago White Sox[edit]

On November 25, 2014, the Chicago White Sox announced that LaRoche had been signed to a two–year, $25 million contract.[17] LaRoche hit his 250th career home run off Detroit Tigers reliever Joakim Soria in a 4-3 White Sox win on June 6, 2015.[18]

On March 15, 2016, LaRoche said that he intended to "step away from baseball." He said that he would honor a request from teammates to reconsider his retirement for a day or two before making an official announcement.[19] On the next day, it was revealed that LaRoche's reason for a possible retirement was that the White Sox had placed a restriction on his 14-year-old son entering the team's clubhouse every day. By retiring, LaRoche walked away from a $13 million contract.[20] The following day, teammates were close to boycotting their spring training game until manager Robin Ventura stepped in and told the players to play. White Sox executive vice president Kenny Williams defended his request by stating "name one job in the country where you can bring your child to work every day."[21]

Personal life[edit]

LaRoche and his wife Jennifer have a daughter, Montana, and a son, Drake.[22] His hobbies include fishing, hunting, and golf. He is the son of former Major League pitcher Dave LaRoche and older brother of Andy LaRoche.

LaRoche suffers from ADHD that was diagnosed during his high school years, which occasionally leads to on field blunders such as in a game against the Washington Nationals in 2006, when he picked up a Nick Johnson ground ball that should have resulted in the third out of the inning, but did not move quickly to step on first base. Johnson beat LaRoche to the base; the inning continued, and the Nationals scored four unearned runs. Washington won 8-1, and LaRoche was benched for the next game.[23]

LaRoche is one of the co-owners of Outdoor Networks hunting show Buck Commander with friends and pro athletes Chipper Jones, Ryan Langerhans, Tom Martin, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, and Willie Robertson who is from the Duck Commander series.

LaRoche currently lives in Fort Scott, Kansas where he is a coach on the Highschool baseball team. The team plays home games at “LaRoche Baseball Complex” whose construction was funded by LaRoche himself. [24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ LaRoche's lazy play leads to Braves' loss to Nationals Savannah Morning News
  2. ^ "LaRoche loses HR on reversal, but Pirates win 5-2", Alan Robinson, May 13, 2009. Retrieved on May 13, 2009.
  3. ^ "Bucs send elder LaRoche to Red Sox". Major League Baseball. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  4. ^ UPDATED: Red Sox acquire Adam LaRoche for two prospects Archived July 24, 2009, at the Wayback Machine WEEI
  5. ^ "Red Sox Deal Adam LaRoche to Braves for Casey Kotchman". Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  6. ^ LaRoche's deal worth $4.5 million ESPN
  7. ^ Nationals agree to two-year contract with LaRoche
  8. ^ Kilgore, Adam (January 5, 2011). "Adam LaRoche finalizes contract with Washington Nationals". The Washington Post.
  9. ^ Adam LaRoche Injury: Season-Ending Surgery Scheduled Archived June 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine SBNation
  10. ^ Official profile
  11. ^ "Adam LaRoche 2012 Batting Splits". Retrieved September 7, 2012.
  12. ^ Kilgore, Adam (September 7, 2012). "Nationals have firm grasp on National League East". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 7, 2012.
  13. ^ Kilgore, Adam (October 2, 2012). "Adam LaRoche reaches 100 RBI, sets career-high in home runs, takes curtain call". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  14. ^ Wagner, James (November 8, 2012). "Ian Desmond, Adam LaRoche, Stephen Strasburg win Silver Slugger Awards". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  15. ^ Nicholson-Smith, Ben (November 1, 2012). "LaRoche, Burnett Decline Options". MLB Trade Rumors.
  16. ^ Nationals re-sign LaRoche to two-year contract
  17. ^ Merkin, Scott (November 25, 2014). "White Sox officially announce LaRoche deal". Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  18. ^ "Garcia hit with bases full, White Sox beat Tigers 4-3 in 11". Associated Press. June 6, 2015. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  19. ^ Kane, Colleen (March 15, 2016). "White Sox DH Adam LaRoche planning to step away from baseball". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
  20. ^ "LaRoche balked at reducing son's presence. Executive VP Williams concerned about precedent being set". Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  21. ^ Keown, Tim (April 13, 2016). "Adam LaRoche goes deep on his decision to walk". ESPN. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  22. ^ Crasnick, Jerry (March 9, 2015). "Spring training a family affair for LaRoches". ESPN. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  23. ^ "LaRoche's blunder puts spotlight on attention deficit disorder". Retrieved January 6, 2010.
  24. ^ Kane, Colleen (April 7, 2015). "Adam LaRoche gives back to community in big way with new sports facility".

External links[edit]