The Colorado Rockies signed 41-year-old relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins near the beginning of baseball’s off-season. He then went on to have what he assumed would be a normal winter as he prepared for Spring Training.
Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports that Hawkins had some unexpected excitement in October, however. While on an international flight from Dallas to Chile, a passenger near Hawkins became unruly. The attendant asked Hawkins for his help, and he and a couple friends obliged:
“The pilot asked us to help escort him from the plane for the Lima police…We had to lay him on top of his bag, and I had my knee in his back and his arm in a pretty compromising position, that’s for sure. I told him all he had to do was calm down, but he chose not to.”
Certain Major League teams, the Rockies included, tended to obsess with finding “good clubhouse guys” who will bring “toughness” and “grittiness.” That had a lot to do with why the Rockies decided to bring Hawkins back for his second stint with the franchise.
There might be no story off the field that better shows the quality of Hawkins’ character than this one.