Chad Curtis

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Chad Curtis
Outfielder
Born: (1968-11-06) November 6, 1968 (age 48)
Marion, Indiana
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 8, 1992, for the California Angels
Last MLB appearance
September 30, 2001, for the Texas Rangers
MLB statistics
Batting average .264
Home runs 101
Runs batted in 461
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Chad Curtis (born November 6, 1968) is a former outfielder in Major League Baseball who played from 1992–2001, for the California Angels, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers. Over his career, Curtis compiled a .264 batting average and hit 101 home runs.[1]

Curtis is a convicted felon currently serving 7–15 years for sexually assaulting three underage girls[2] while he was a volunteer at Lakewood High School, Lake Odessa, MI.[3]

Baseball Career[edit]

California Angels (1992–1994)[edit]

Curtis made his major-league debut in 1992, playing in 139 games at all three outfield positions. He compiled a .256 average with 10 home runs and 46 runs batted in, also stealing 43 bases, but was thrown out 18 times. In 1993, Curtis hit .285 with 59 runs batted in, but led the league with 24 times caught stealing.[4] In the strike-shortened 1994 season, Curtis played in 114 games, hitting 11 home runs with 50 runs batted in. On April 13, 1995, he was traded to the Detroit Tigers for Tony Phillips.

Detroit Tigers (1995–1996)[edit]

During his first season as a Tiger, Curtis hit .268 with 21 homers and 67 runs batted in, while leading the American League with 670 plate appearances. In 1996, Curtis played in 104 games, hitting .263 with 10 home runs and 37 runs batted in. He was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 31, 1996 for pitchers John Cummings and Joey Eischen.[4]

Los Angeles Dodgers (1996)[edit]

Curtis played in 43 games with the Dodgers, hitting just .212 with only 9 runs batted in. During the 1996 postseason, Curtis was 0-for-3 in his only game played. On October 19, 1996, he became a free agent.

Cleveland Indians (1997)[edit]

Curtis signed with the Indians on December 18, 1996. In 1997, Curtis played in only 22 games for the Indians, hitting .207 (6 for 29) with three home runs and seven runs batted in. He was traded to the Yankees on June 9, 1997 for pitcher David Weathers.

New York Yankees (1997–1999)[edit]

In 1997 with the Yankees, Curtis hit .291 with 12 home runs and 50 runs batted in. Curtis was included on the Yankees' postseason roster, during which he went 1 for 6 with 3 walks and 1 strikeout. In 1998, Curtis hit .243 with 10 home runs and 56 runs batted in during the Yankees 114-win regular season. In the 1998 American League Division Series, Curtis was 2 for 3 with a run scored and a stolen base. In the Championship Series, he was 0-for-4 with a walk and one strikeout. He did not play in the 1998 World Series, but still received a World Series ring.

In 1999, Curtis played in just 99 games, hitting .262 with five home runs and 24 runs batted in. In the 1999 American League Division Series, Curtis played in all three games and scored one run despite recording no hits.[4] In the 1999 American League Championship Series, he scored a run and stole one base, again without recording a hit.[4]

1999 World Series[edit]

Curtis played all four games of the 1999 World Series in left field. He is best known for hitting a walk-off home run in Game 3 of the series against the Atlanta Braves; it was his second home run of the game.[5]

In an on-field interview immediately following the home run, Curtis refused to talk with NBC sportscaster Jim Gray in response to Gray's earlier, pointed interview on gambling with Pete Rose,[6] a former baseball player who has been banned from involvement with MLB because of his gambling history.[7] Curtis told Gray, "I can't do it. As a team, we kind of decided – because what happened with Pete – we're not going to talk out here on the field." Then-Yankees manager Joe Torre later said there was no such unified effort to snub Gray from either Yankees players or front office staff, and that Curtis had acted alone.[8] During Curtis' playing time in New York he was known "more for his aggressive proselytizing and capacity for moral reprobation than anything he did on the field,"[9] and he publicly criticized his teammate Derek Jeter for fraternizing with then-Seattle Mariners shortstop Alex Rodriguez during an on-field fracas between the two teams.[10]

On December 13, 1999, Curtis was traded to the Texas Rangers for pitchers Brandon Knight and Sam Marsonek.

Texas Rangers (2000–2001)[edit]

During the 2000 season, Curtis became the first right-handed batter to hit a home run into the upper deck in right field at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.[11] Curtis played in 108 games that year, hitting .272 with 8 home runs and 48 runs batted in. In 2001, he hit .252 with 3 home runs and 10 runs batted in just 38 games. On November 5, 2001, Curtis was granted free agency.[4] He soon after retired from professional baseball.

Personal life[edit]

After retiring from Major League Baseball, Curtis earned a teaching certificate at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was employed as the athletic director and weight training instructor at NorthPointe Christian High School in Grand Rapids from the fall of 2006 until late fall of 2009, at which time he was fired without explanation.[12] Along with coaching youth baseball, in 2011 Curtis coached the Lakewood Public Schools equestrian team, which included two of his daughters, with the team winning state championship honors that same year.[13] At Lakewood Public Schools Curtis also worked as a substitute teacher, high school weight-training coach, and had pursued a position as head coach of the high school varsity football team.[14]

Criminal convictions[edit]

In May 2012, Curtis resigned from his positions at Lakewood Public Schools after several female students accused him of "inappropriate touching".[15] In June 2012, Curtis was ordered to stand trial for five counts of criminal sexual conduct ranging from misdemeanors to 15-year felonies.[16] In August 2012, Curtis was charged with an additional, sixth count of criminal sexual conduct.[16]

Curtis's criminal trial began on August 12, 2013, during which three of his victims and two others, all underage girls, testified.[17] On August 16 Curtis was found guilty on all six counts, including third-degree criminal sexual conduct, a crime that involves sexual penetration.[18][19] On October 3, 2013, Curtis was sentenced to 7 to 15 years in prison.[20] During his sentencing Curtis accused all his victims of lying, with the Barry County, Michigan Prosecutor Julie Nakfoor Pratt later stating "That [Curtis' sentencing statement] was the most selfish, self-serving, victim-blaming statement I’ve heard in my career as a prosecutor. It speaks volumes about his character, or lack thereof.”[21] Curtis' criminal convictions were upheld by the Michigan state appeals court.[22] After pursuing an attempt in March 2016 for re-sentencing,[23] Curtis later withdrew the request when the presiding judge signaled that Curtis faced the possibility of a longer term of incarceration.[24]

In a 2014 federal civil law suit filed against Curtis by his three victims in the criminal sexual conduct case (plus a fourth accuser), Curtis was found liable for battery.[25]

Curtis is currently incarcerated at Gus Harrison Correctional Facility in Adrian, Michigan.[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chad Curtis. Sportsillustrated.cnn.com (November 6, 1968). Retrieved on July 13, 2012.
  2. ^ Hanlon, Greg. "How Chad Curtis went from hero to convict.". Retrieved 2015-05-22. 
  3. ^ "Former New York Yankee, Chad Curtis, convicted of fondling underage girls". Fox News. August 17, 2013. Retrieved 2015-05-22. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Chad Curtis Statistics and History. Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved on July 13, 2012.
  5. ^ World Series History | MLB.com: History. Mlb.mlb.com (June 19, 2012). Retrieved on July 13, 2012.
  6. ^ NBC's feisty Jim Gray wouldn't change a thing about his – 11.01.99 – SI Vault. Sportsillustrated.cnn.com (November 1, 1999). Retrieved on July 13, 2012.
  7. ^ Gray Snubbed After Apology – Hartford Courant. Articles.courant.com (October 27, 1999). Retrieved on July 13, 2012.
  8. ^ Li, David K. (October 3, 2013). "Ex-Yankee sentenced to jail for molesting girls". New York Post. 
  9. ^ "Sins of the Preacher". MLB Advanced Media. 2014-04-03. Retrieved 2017-04-19. 
  10. ^ "Chad Curtis, ex-Yankee, once yelled at Derek Jeter for 'fraternizing' with Alex Rodriguez during brawl". New Jersey On-Line LLC. 2014-04-03. Retrieved 2017-04-19. 
  11. ^ Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz set major league record | Texas Rangers Blog Archived August 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.. Rangersblog.dallasnews.com (April 3, 2011). Retrieved on July 13, 2012.
  12. ^ "Curtis arraigned on criminal sexual conduct charges /5-31-12". hastingsbanner.com. Retrieved 2015-05-22. 
  13. ^ MLive.com. MLive.com (November 1, 2011). Retrieved on July 13, 2012.
  14. ^ "Chad Curtis, former MLB player, relinquishes upcoming Lakewood football coach job amid 'touching' allegations". MLive Media Group. 2012-05-09. Retrieved 2017-04-19. 
  15. ^ "Chad Curtis resigns from W. Mich school". WOOD-TV. May 10, 2012. Archived from the original on August 17, 2012. Retrieved October 21, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b Woodtv.com Chad Curtis charged with another sexual assault (August 14, 2012). Retrieved on February 28, 2013.
  17. ^ Woodtv.com. Ex-MLB star Curtis to call 30 witnesses (August 13, 2013). Retrieved on August 14, 2013.
  18. ^ Zoladz, Chris (August 16, 2013). "Ex-MLB player Chad Curtis guilty in sex assault case". Retrieved August 16, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Former New York Yankee, Chad Curtis, convicted of fondling underage girls". Fox News. August 17, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Ex-Yank Chad Curtis Sentenced To 7-15 Years For Inappropriately Touching Teen Girls". CBS News New York. Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Chad Curtis blames his victims in court speech". MLive Media Group. 2013-10-03. Retrieved 2017-04-19. 
  22. ^ "Appeals Court Won't Upset Chad Curtis' Sex Case Convictions". CBS Broadcasting Inc. 2015-02-13. Retrieved 2017-04-19. 
  23. ^ "Ex-MLB player Chad Curtis seeks re-sentencing for sexual assault". MLive Media Group. 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2017-04-19. 
  24. ^ "MLB's Chad Curtis withdraws request for re-sentencing in students' sex assaults". MLive Media Group. 2016-09-27. Retrieved 2017-04-19. 
  25. ^ "Curtis found liable in part of federal civil suit". Nexstar Broadcasting Inc. 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2017-04-19. 
  26. ^ Hanlon, Greg (April 3, 2014). "Sins of the Preacher: How Chad Curtis went from hero to convict". SportsonEarth.com. Retrieved April 8, 2014. 

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