Edward Charles Knoblauch (/ˈnɒblɔːk/; born July 7, 1968) is an American former professional baseball player. He played twelve seasons in the majors, from 1991 through 2002, for the Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals. He played mostly as a second baseman before moving to left field for his last two seasons.
|Born: July 7, 1968|
|April 9, 1991, for the Minnesota Twins|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 27, 2002, for the Kansas City Royals|
|Runs batted in||615|
|Career highlights and awards|
Born in Houston, Texas, Knoblauch came from a baseball family, as his uncle Eddie Knoblauch and father Ray Knoblauch played and managed in the minor leagues between the late 1930s and mid-1950s. Knoblauch played for the Bellaire High School baseball team, which also produced current major-leaguer Chris Young (outfielder) and many former major leaguers, including Jose Cruz, Jr.. Knoblauch missed his senior season (1986) due to a broken leg, but he cheered from the bench as the team won the state championship.
Chuck was drafted in the 18th round of the 1986 amateur draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, but did not sign. Then, Knoblauch went on to play college baseball for Texas A&M University in College Station, where he was a second team All-American. He later played on the 1989 team that finished the season with 58 wins, the highest total in school history. In 1988, Knoblauch played collegiate summer baseball with the Wareham Gatemen of the Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL), and in 2001 was inducted into the CCBL Hall of Fame.
Knoblauch was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 1st round of the 1989 MLB draft. Knoblauch won the American League Rookie of the Year award and a World Series ring as a member of the 1991 Minnesota Twins. In Game 7 of the World Series, Knoblauch attempted to deceive Lonnie Smith by appearing to start a double play on a Terry Pendleton double (causing Smith to get only to 3rd base when he might have scored for the Atlanta Braves). Smith claimed that he lost track of the ball, and that Knoblauch's decoy was not a factor.
During the 1994–96 seasons, Knoblauch batted .312, .333, and .341, won the AL Gold Glove Award at second base in 1997, and stole over 40 bases in three consecutive seasons. After the 1997 season, Knoblauch was traded to the Yankees in exchange for four players (including two future All-Stars, Eric Milton and Cristian Guzmán) and US$3 million. Once a popular player in Minnesota, his request to be traded from the Twins resulted in his being booed on successive trips to the Metrodome. This included throwing hot dogs, bottles, and golf balls at Knoblauch during a visit to the Metrodome in 2001.
Knoblauch's arrival in New York was greeted with anticipation. Buster Olney, then with the New York Times and now an ESPN's analyst, predicted that Knoblauch and Derek Jeter would form the greatest double play combination in history. Though he struggled early on with the team, he hit a career-high 17 home runs as the Yankees won a then-American League record 114 games. In the 1998 postseason against the Cleveland Indians, Knoblauch argued with the umpire as Enrique Wilson scored from first base, giving Cleveland a 2–1 lead in the 12th inning. The Indians won the game, 4–1. A New York newspaper called him 'Blauch-head'; however, Knoblauch recovered and was an important factor in the World Series victory over the San Diego Padres, and the 1999 win over the Atlanta Braves. In Game 3 of the 1999 series, Knoblauch scored the game's first run, and also hit a dramatic two-run home run in the eighth inning to tie the score, with the Yankees eventually winning in the 10th. In the 2001 World Series, Game 5, Knoblauch scored the winning run, having led off with a single and scoring on a single by his replacement at 2nd base, Alfonso Soriano. This game became known as "Deja Vu—It ain't over til it's over—All Over Again" game, the second consecutive night that the Yankees tied in the bottom of the 9th with two outs, and then won in extra innings.
The Yankees won the American League pennant every year he was with the team, winning three World Series championships.
Towards the end of his career, Knoblauch's performance at the plate grew worse, with many observers believing he was preoccupied by his fielding troubles and trying too hard to hit home runs. Knoblauch was benched in the final game of the 2001 World Series (he hit just .056), and left for Kansas City as a free agent in the offseason. Knoblauch played in just 80 games in left field for the Royals, batting a meager .210, and the team declined to offer him a new contract the following year. In 2003, having failed to gain a job with a major league team, Knoblauch announced his retirement.
Once considered one of the game's best fielders (in fact, ESPN personalities nicknamed him "Fundamentally Sound" Chuck Knoblauch), Knoblauch's play deteriorated shortly into his Yankee career; his errors at second doubled from 13 in 1998 to 26 the following year; none of these were throwing errors. In 2000, he began to have difficulty making accurate throws to first base, a condition sometimes referred to in baseball as "the yips" or "Steve Sax Syndrome" in more recent years.
Knoblauch tried various solutions to his problem, but his throwing would not improve. He made fifteen errors in less than half a season in 2000, including ten throwing miscues. (During one game, an errant throw sailed into the stands and hit sportscaster Keith Olbermann's mother in the head). After making three throwing errors in six innings of the Yankees' 12–3 loss to the Chicago White Sox, on 15 June 2000, Knoblauch voluntarily left the game. He then left Yankee Stadium in his street clothes while the game was still in progress. He was back at second the next day, but Knoblauch never fully recovered his throwing accuracy, especially after missing most of the month of August with an injury. Knoblauch returned to the Yankees in September, but was often used as a designated hitter in lieu of playing second; he was exclusively a DH in the Yankees' run to a World Series title. Finally, in 2001, he was reassigned to left field by manager Joe Torre, never to return to his old position.
On September 25, 2009, an officer from the Memorial Villages Police Department, near Houston, was told by Knoblauch's common-law wife, Stacey Victoria Stelmach, that he hit and choked her. A police officer's affidavit alleged that "redness around her neck and swelling near her eye [were] consistent with her statement." On September 29, 2009, the Harris County, Texas District Attorney charged Knoblauch with assaulting a family member by choking, a third-degree felony in Texas. Knoblauch pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault in connection with the case on March 16, 2010. The couple was reportedly going through a divorce.
On July 24, 2014, the 46-year-old Knoblauch was charged with assault of a family member, Cheri Knoblauch, whom he divorced in 2012. Because of this incident, the Twins canceled their planned induction of Knoblauch into the Twins Hall of Fame.
A four-time All-Star, in his career Knoblauch batted .289 with 98 home runs and 615 runs batted in. He stole 25 or more bases in 10 of his 12 seasons, finishing with 407 in his career – including 276 with the Twins, the most for the team since its move from Washington in 1961. On August 18, 2018, Knoblauch returned to the New Yankee Stadium to commemorate the 1998 championship team.
In December 2007, Knoblauch was included in the Mitchell Report which provided evidence that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his career. In the Mitchell report, Brian McNamee states that he procured Human Growth Hormone (HGH) from Kirk Radomski for Knoblauch in 2001 when he served as the New York Yankees assistant strength coach. McNamee stated that during the season, he injected Knoblauch seven to nine times with HGH. McNamee states that Knoblauch paid Radomski for the drugs through him or Jason Grimsley, and also believed that Knoblauch obtained HGH from Grimsley. Knoblauch did not respond to a request to meet with the Mitchell investigators to discuss the allegations.
On December 20, 2007 Knoblauch was named in Jason Grimsley's unsealed affidavit as an alleged user of HGH. Knoblauch and Grimsley were teammates on the 1999–2000 New York Yankees.
On January 11, 2008, The New York Times published a look at Chuck Knoblauch's post-baseball life. The article painted Knoblauch's outlook on baseball and The Mitchell Report as being apathetic. As he has been retired for 5 years, he expressed "bewilderment at his inclusion" in the report and stated that "I have nothing to defend and I have nothing to hide at the same time." In 2008, Knoblauch owned a condominium and house in the Houston area, and was not interested in returning to pro baseball in any capacity.
On January 22, 2008, Knoblauch was subpoenaed by the congressional committee investigating steroids in baseball after he failed to respond to an invitation to give a deposition by a January 18, 2008 deadline. On January 23, federal marshals had as yet been unable to find Knoblauch to serve him with the subpoena.
Knoblauch has admitted to using human growth hormone: "I did HGH. It didn't help me out. It didn't make me any better. I had the worst years of my career from a batting average standpoint. And I got hurt. So there was no good that came out of it for me—it was not performance-enhancing for me."
The 1986 Major League Baseball Draft was the 22nd MLB draft that took place in 1986. During this draft 21 future all-stars were drafted including, Greg Swindell, Matt Williams, Kevin Brown, Gary Sheffield, Roberto Hernández, Jack Armstrong, Dean Palmer, Scott Cooper, Kent Bottenfield, Bo Jackson, Joe Girardi, Pat Hentgen, Tom Gordon, Steve Finley, Rod Beck, Chuck Knoblauch, Rick Reed, Paul Quantrill, John Olerud, Scott Erickson and Todd Jones.1991 Minnesota Twins season
The 1991 Minnesota Twins of Major League Baseball (MLB) won the World Series, the second time the Twins had won the World Series since moving to Minnesota in 1961. During the 1991 regular season the Twins had an MLB-leading 15-game win streak, which remains a club record. On June 18, 1991, the streak came to an end at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles but not before the Twins moved from fifth place to first, a lead they would not relinquish until winning baseball's championship. The Twins' winning streak of 1991 falls just seven games short of the all-time American League (AL) record of 22 consecutive regular season wins set by the Cleveland Indians in 2017.
The Twins finished 95-67, first in the AL West, which represented a turnaround from 1990, when the team finished last in the division with a 74-88 record. They were the first team to go from a last-place finish to a World Series championship. They and the Atlanta Braves were the first teams to go from last place to a pennant. The Twins defeated the Braves in seven games in a Series which has been considered one of the best to have ever been played.There was a considerable reshaping of the team in January and February, beginning when third baseman Gary Gaetti left as a free agent on January 25 and signed with the California Angels. Less than 12 hours after Gaetti's departure, the Twins signed free agent Mike Pagliarulo from the New York Yankees as a new third baseman. Two more key free agent signings followed with designated hitter Chili Davis on January 30 and St. Paul native Jack Morris on February 5. The July 1989 blockbuster trade that sent 1988 AL Cy Young Award winner Frank Viola to the New York Mets in exchange for relief pitchers Rick Aguilera and David West and starter Kevin Tapani proved to be pivotal to the 1991 season. There were only seven players still on the roster from the 1987 World Championship team, none of them pitchers: Randy Bush, Greg Gagne, Dan Gladden, Kent Hrbek, Gene Larkin, Al Newman, and future Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett. Into this framework, young stars were blended successfully, including Scott Leius to platoon with Pagliarulo at third, Shane Mack in right field, Scott Erickson, a 20-game winner with a 12-game winning streak, and A.L. Rookie of the Year second baseman Chuck Knoblauch.
2,293,842 fans attended Twins games, the eighth highest total in the American League.1992 Minnesota Twins season
Coming off a World Series victory, the 1992 Minnesota Twins continued the team's winning spree. The team finished in second place to the Oakland Athletics and did not make it to the postseason. This would be the team's last winning season until 2001.1994 Minnesota Twins season
The 1994 Minnesota Twins played in an abbreviated, strike-shortened season. The strike overshadowed the season's accomplishments. These included Scott Erickson's no-hitter on April 27, Chuck Knoblauch's 85-game errorless streak and league-leading 45 doubles, Kirby Puckett's 2,000th hit, and Kent Hrbek's retirement. In 113 games, Manager Tom Kelly's team finished with a record of 53-60, for fourth place in the newly created American League Central Division.1995 Minnesota Twins season
Although the 1995 Minnesota Twins were separated from a world championship by only four years, it seemed like eons. Because of the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike, the season got off to a late start. However, it did not end soon enough, as the team finished with a 56-88 record and in last place in its division. The team found it impossible to compete against the runaway Cleveland Indians who won 100 games despite the short season and finished 44 games ahead of the Twins. By July, the team was trading away its veterans in a fire sale. Manager Tom Kelly might have preferred that the strike had continued.1996 Minnesota Twins season
Prior to the spring training, the 1996 Minnesota Twins were projected to be a contending team. The team's chances significantly worsened on March 28, 1996. Kirby Puckett, the team's franchise player, had been tattooing the Grapefruit League (spring training) for a .360 average, but that morning woke up without vision in his right eye. He was eventually diagnosed with glaucoma. Several surgeries over the next few months could not restore vision in the eye. Puckett announced his retirement from baseball on July 12. After beginning the season under the melancholy cloud of the Puckett situation, Manager Tom Kelly's team finished the year with a 78-84 record, which put it in fourth place in the American League Central Division.1997 Minnesota Twins season
The 1997 Minnesota Twins will not be remembered as the strongest team the Twins ever fielded. Manager Tom Kelly's team consisted of a few solid players, but mainly past-their-prime veterans and never-to-be-established prospects. One of the few bright spots was pitcher Brad Radke's breakout season, in which he won 20 games, at one point had 12 consecutive victories, tying a record Scott Erickson set in 1991. The team finished with a 68-94 record, good enough for fourth place in what proved to be the league's weakest division that season. The Cleveland Indians, who won the division that year, made it all the way to the World Series, but lost in seven games to the Florida Marlins.1998 American League Championship Series
The 1998 American League Championship Series (ALCS), the second round of the 1998 American League playoffs, was played between the East Division champion New York Yankees and the Central Division champion Cleveland Indians.
The Yankees defeated the Indians four games to two and went on to sweep the National League champion San Diego Padres in the 1998 World Series to win their twenty-fourth World Series championship. New York, who won 114 games during the regular season, recorded their only two losses of the 1998 postseason in this series.1998 New York Yankees season
The New York Yankees' 1998 season was the 96th season for the Yankees. The team finished with a franchise record regular-season standing of 114–48. These Yankees set an American League record for wins in a season, a record that would stand until 2001, when the Seattle Mariners won 116 games in the regular season against 46 losses (the Yankees still hold the record for most regular season wins by a team that won the World Series). New York was managed by Joe Torre. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium in which they celebrated the stadium's 75th Anniversary.
In the postseason, they swept the Texas Rangers in the American League Division Series, won the American League pennant by beating the Cleveland Indians four games to two in the American League Championship Series, and swept the San Diego Padres to capture their 24th World Series. Including the playoffs, the 1998 Yankees won a total of 125 games against 50 losses, an MLB record. They are widely considered to be one of the greatest teams in baseball history. The 125 wins (regular season and playoffs combined) was the most by a championship team, surpassing the previous record of 116, set by their cross-town rivals, New York Mets in 1986.1999 American League Championship Series
The 1999 American League Championship Series (ALCS) was a matchup between the East Division Champion New York Yankees (98–64) and the Wild Card Boston Red Sox (94–68). The Yankees had advanced to the Series after sweeping the West Division Champion Texas Rangers in the AL Division Series for the second consecutive year, and the Red Sox advanced by beating the Central Division Champion Cleveland Indians three games to two. The Yankees won the series, 4-1. They won their 36th American League pennant and went on to win the World Series against the Atlanta Braves.2000 American League Championship Series
The 2000 American League Championship Series (ALCS) was a matchup between the East Division champion New York Yankees and the Wild Card Seattle Mariners. The Yankees had advanced to the Series after beating the West Division champion Oakland Athletics in the ALDS three games to two and the Mariners advanced by beating the Central Division champion Chicago White Sox three games to none. The Yankees won the Series four games to two and went on to defeat the New York Mets in the World Series to win their third consecutive World Series championship, twenty-sixth overall.2002 Kansas City Royals season
The 2002 Kansas City Royals season involved the Royals finishing 4th in the American League Central with a record of 62 wins and 100 losses, their first 100 loss season in franchise history.Anthony Phillips (baseball)
Anthony Garet Phillips (born 11 April 1990) is a South African baseball infielder who is a free agent. He has been a member of the Seattle Mariners, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and Colorado Rockies organizations. Phillips bats and throws right-handed. Phillips has been drawn comparisons to a "young Chuck Knoblauch" by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. José Moreno, Phillips former manager, compared his style of play to that of David Eckstein. While not officially retired, Phillips is now a minor league coach.Knoblauch
Knoblauch is a surname of German origin (German word for garlic). It may refer to:
Charles E. Knoblauch (1922–1984), American politician
Chuck Knoblauch (born 1968), American baseball player
Eddie Knoblauch (1918–1991), American baseball player (see Chuck Knoblauch)
Eduard Knoblauch, German architect
Emil Friedrich Knoblauch, German botanist
Karl-Hermann Knoblauch, German physicist
Ray Knoblauch (1928–2002), American baseball player and manager (see Chuck Knoblauch)
Oskar Knoblauch (1925– present) Holocaust survivor and activist
Mary Bookstaver (1875–1950) (married name Knoblauch), American feministLeadoff hitter
In baseball, a leadoff hitter is a batter who bats first in the lineup. It can also refer to any batter who bats first in an inning.List of Minnesota Twins first-round draft picks
The Minnesota Twins are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the American League Central division. Since the institution of MLB's Rule 4 Draft, the Twins have selected 68 players in the first round. Officially known as the "First-Year Player Draft", the Rule 4 Draft is MLB's primary mechanism for assigning players from high schools, colleges, and other amateur clubs to its franchises. The draft order is determined based on the previous season's standings, with the team possessing the worst record receiving the first pick. In addition, teams which lost free agents in the previous off-season may be awarded compensatory or supplementary picks.Of the 68 players picked in the first round by Minnesota, 30 have been pitchers, the most of any position; 22 of these were right-handed, while 8 were left-handed. Twelve outfielders were selected, while eleven shortstops, seven third basemen, four catchers, three first basemen and one player at second base were taken as well. Thirteen of the players came from high schools or universities in the state of California, and Florida follows with nine players. The Twins have drafted six players from Arizona, including five players from Arizona State University.Two of the Twins' first-round picks have won championships with the franchise. Willie Banks (1987) and Chuck Knoblauch (1989) won a World Series title on the 1991 championship team. Knoblauch is also the only first-round draft pick of the Twins to win the MLB Rookie of the Year award, taking home the award in 1991. None of their first-round picks have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Catcher Joe Mauer (2001) won the 2009 American League Most Valuable Player award, the only first-round pick of the Twins to win the award. Mauer has also won three Silver Slugger Awards, two Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, and is the only catcher in MLB history to win three batting titles.The Twins have made 16 selections in the supplemental round of the draft and have made the first overall selection twice (1983 and 2001). They have also had 18 compensatory picks since the institution of the First-Year Player Draft in 1965. These additional picks are provided when a team loses a particularly valuable free agent in the previous off-season, or, more recently, if a team fails to sign a draft pick from the previous year. The Twins have six times failed to sign their first-round pick. Eddie Leon (1965), Dick Ruthven (1972), Jamie Allen (1976), and Tim Belcher (1983) all failed to sign with the Twins without the team receiving compensation. The Twins did, however, receive a compensatory pick when they failed to sign Jason Varitek (1993). Varitek did not sign and instead chose to enter the draft again the following year and was taken by the Seattle Mariners. Additionally, Travis Lee, the Twins' only selection in 1996 and the second-overall pick of that draft, did not sign with the team. Lee's agent, Scott Boras, did not communicate with the Twins for the first two weeks after the draft and then invoked a rarely used rule that a team was required to make a contract offer within 15 days of the draft or relinquish their rights to the player. As a result, Lee and 3 other 1996 first-round picks who were Boras clients were granted free agency and he ultimately signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks.List of Silver Slugger Award winners at second base
The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball (MLB). These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage, in addition to "coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value". Managers and coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The Silver Slugger was first awarded in 1980 and is given by Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats. The award is a bat-shaped trophy, 3 feet (91 cm) tall, engraved with the names of each of the winners from the league and plated with sterling silver.Among second basemen, Ryne Sandberg, who played 15 seasons with the Chicago Cubs in his 16-year career, owns the most Silver Sluggers with seven wins, including five consecutive from 1988 to 1992. Three other National League players have won the award four times. Jeff Kent (2000–2002, 2005) won three consecutive awards with the San Francisco Giants, before adding a fourth with the Los Angeles Dodgers; Craig Biggio, who played his entire career with the Houston Astros, won the award four times as a second baseman (1994–1995, 1997–1998) after winning another as a catcher. Chase Utley followed Kent's last win by capturing four consecutive awards (2006–2009).In the American League, José Altuve and Robinson Canó have won five Silver Slugger awards. Altuve won five consecutive awards (2014–2018), all with the Astros, while Cano won all five of his Silver Slugger awards as a member of the New York Yankees, including four consecutive wins (2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013). Altuve and Cano's five Silver Slugger awards are second-most all-time for a second baseman and first among American League winners, ahead of four second basemen who are all four-time winners in the American League. Roberto Alomar won the award at the same position with three different teams (Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, Cleveland Indians). Julio Franco won four consecutive awards (1988–1991) with two different teams, and Lou Whitaker won four awards in five years (1983–1985, 1987) with the Detroit Tigers.Altuve holds the record for the highest batting average in a second baseman's Silver Slugger-winning season with the .346 mark he set in 2017. In the National League, Daniel Murphy's .347 batting average in 2016 ranks first. Willie Randolph, who won the inaugural award in the 1980 season, set a record for on-base percentage (.427) that has not yet been broken. Chuck Knoblauch is second behind Randolph in the American League with a .424 on-base percentage, a mark that was tied by Jeff Kent in 2000 to set the National League record. That year, Kent also set the record among second basemen for highest slugging percentage (.596) and the National League record for runs batted in (125). Bret Boone is the overall leader in runs batted in (141) and holds the American League record for slugging percentage (.578); both of these records were established in 2001. Sandberg hit 40 home runs in 1990, the most ever by a second baseman in a winning season, while Alfonso Soriano set the American League mark with 39 in 2002.Milt Cuyler
Milton Cuyler, Jr. (born October 7, 1968) is a former major league outfielder drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the second round of the 1986 amateur draft. He finished third behind Juan Guzman and winner Chuck Knoblauch for the 1991 American League Rookie of the Year award.
After failing to live up to his early promise, he was released by the Tigers following the 1995 season. He signed as a free agent with the Boston Red Sox for 1996, but saw very little activity with the Sox (110 at bats in only 50 games for a .200 batting average). He signed with the Montreal Expos following the season, but failed to make the team that Spring. He appeared in seven games for the Texas Rangers in September 1998, and spent the 1999 season in their minor league system before calling it a career. In 490 games from 1990–1998, Cuyler tallied 329 hits, 10 home runs and 119 runs batted in with a .237 career average. He is currently the hitting coach for the Minnesota Twins' Rookie affiliate, the Gulf Coast League Twins.Minnesota Twins award winners and league leaders
This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Minnesota Twins professional baseball team.