March 19, 1974 |
|June 15, 1999 for the Cincinnati Reds|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 3, 2010 for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Runs batted in||348|
After being selected in the 5th round of the 1995 Major League Baseball Draft out of Dallas Baptist University, LaRue debuted with Cincinnati on June 15, 1999 and became Cincinnati's starting catcher in 2001. 2005 was his best overall season with 14 HR, 60 RBI and .260 batting average.
LaRue agreed to a two-year, $9.1 million contract with the Cincinnati Reds on December 20, 2005. On November 20, 2006, LaRue was traded to the Kansas City Royals for a player to be named later. Since a player could not be agreed upon, the Royals opted to send the Reds cash considerations in the amount of one dollar.
On Mother's Day, May 14, 2006, LaRue was one of more than 50 hitters who brandished a pink bat to benefit the Breast Cancer Foundation. He was also one of a handful of players to hit a home run with a pink bat.
On November 19, 2007, he signed a one-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals as the backup to Yadier Molina. During the season, he was used primarily for his defensive ability as his hitting stats had dwindled. LaRue re-signed with the Cardinals following the 2008 season for one year.
LaRue returned to the Cardinals for 2010, his third season with the team. On August 10, 2010, he suffered a concussion caused by a kick to the head by the Cincinnati Reds' Johnny Cueto, during a bench-clearing brawl. On August 19, LaRue was placed on the 60-day disabled list, ending his season.
The concussion was initially thought to be slight, but LaRue experienced severe post-concussion symptoms. On September 18, LaRue announced his retirement from Major League Baseball. He told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his symptoms were so severe that he'd been ordered to go back to his home in San Antonio, where he lived during the offseason, because he was in no condition to be left alone. He could not drive or cook for himself for a time, could not watch television or even ride in a car as a passenger with his eyes open. He'd suffered close to 20 concussions dating to his days as a high school football and baseball player, and doctors told him that as a catcher he was vulnerable to a concussion that was at least as severe as the one he'd suffered in the brawl. A video of the brawl can be viewed here.
LaRue was known throughout his career to be a defensive specialist. In 2001 he led the major leagues with a 61% caught-stealing percentage, and he has a career 39% caught-stealing percentage.
- "Royals.com : News". Retrieved July 8, 2008.
- Strauss, Joe. "Cardinals sign catcher, minor-league pitchers St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 2007-11-20. Retrieved 2007-11-20.
- "Cardinals sign catcher Jason LaRue; veteran backstop agrees to one-year pact for 2009". Stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com. October 31, 2008. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
- Josh Alper (August 18, 2010). "Jason LaRue May Be Out For Season After Johnny Cueto's uncalled for Kick to the Head". MLB FanHouse. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
- Bleach, Michael (August 19, 2010). "Cards acquire third baseman Feliz | MLB.com: News". MLB.com (Mlb.mlb.com). Retrieved September 19, 2010.
- "LaRue says career is over now". Stltoday.com. August 10, 2010. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
- Jason LaRue Stats, Bio, Photos, Highlights stlouiscardinals.com