Adam LaRoche is a major league baseball player, an avid bowhunter, and one of the official Buck Commanders. But first and foremost, he’s a dad. And he announced on March 15th that he has decided to leave the Chicago White Sox, walking away from a $13 million salary.
How can anyone walk away from that kind of money? The decision comes after twelve years in the major leagues (most of it with the Nationals and one year with the Sox). LaRoche is citing the reason as differences with White Sox president Ken Williams, but the subject of disagreement seems to be the presence of LaRoche’s son: The White Sox president requested that his son limit his time in the team’s clubhouse. Williams was quoted by MSN as saying, “We all think his kid is a great young man. I just felt it should not be every day, that’s all.”
LaRoche’s son Drake has hung out with his dad (and his team) at work for the past several years. Before LaRoche signed with the Sox, he asked about an arrangement for his son. In LaRoche’s official statement on twitter, he states: “Prior to signing with the White Sox, my first question to the club concerned my son’s ability to be a part of the team. After some due diligence on the club’s part, we reached an agreement. The 2015 season presented no problems as far as Drake was concerned. (My bat and our record are another story!)”. When this agreement changed, LaRoche decided to leave the team and spend time with his family.
MLB insider Ken Rosenthal tweeted “Sources: LaRoche chose to retire after #WhiteSox prez Ken Williams told him that he no longer could bring 14-year-old son into clubhouse.”
MLB confirms that there were no concrete terms reported. “No specifics were provided by Williams in terms of his request to LaRoche, other than just dial it back.”
The article goes on to specify that LaRoche is still technically in a grace period. “Retirement papers were signed by LaRoche, who will give up $13 million in the second year of his two-year deal, but the White Sox have not yet sent them in to the league office, allowing LaRoche time to reconsider.”
While his son wasn’t welcomed by the White Sox, bowhunting and farming have been family affairs for LaRoche and his kin. LaRoche is a fifth generation cattle farmer with his wife Jen. Their farm, E3 Ranch, sells all natural Angus beef: 100% hormone, steroid and antibiotic-free.
LaRoche tweeted a photo of himself in an E3 hat, advertising Under Armour.
LaRoche also remained true to his archery and bowhunting roots earlier this year, with a surprise appearance at the ATA Trade Show in Louisville, sporting an E3 hat. The E3 name pays tribute to his baseball position (E for error, followed by the number for first base). LaRoche showed up with the Buck Commander crew, including Jason Aldean and country megastar Bryan. He tweeted: “Good times this week in Kentucky at the ATA show w/my @Buck_Commander boys. Thx to all the fans for comin to see us”.
Baseball is something that is in LaRoche’s blood, and has been handed down to him from his father Dave. Dave LaRoche was a major league pitcher, starting with the Angels and moving amongst various teams throughout the entirety of the 70’s. He is now the short-season pitching coach for the Mets.
When you’re a part of archery, or a part of baseball, you’re part of a family. Adam LaRoche will always belong to both.