Its always sad to see the skills of a once-dominant baseball player start to wither away.
For some players, you can see it coming as they increase in age. For others, it seemingly happens over night.
Chuck Knoblauch certainly falls under the latter of the two categories.
The former Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees second baseman played an instrumental role in his teams’ success early on in his career, but ended up with a bad case of the yips. It ultimately put a premature end to his playing career.
So, what happened to Chuck Knoblauch?
Chuck Knoblauch’s MLB Career
Edward Charles Knoblauch was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies out of Bellaire High School in 1986, but opted to go to college at Texas A&M University.
After a few seasons at College Station, where he became a Second-Team All-American, Knoblauch entered the 1989 MLB Draft to continue the family tradition. His father and uncle were both baseball players, too, and played in the minor leagues.
Chuck Knoblauch started his MLB career off on the right track. He earned American League Rookie of the Year honors in 1991, and helped Minnesota win the World Series over the Atlanta Braves.
The AL Rookie of the Year would spend his first seven seasons as a pro in Minnesota, where he was a four-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger.
Throughout his stay in the Twin Cities, Knoblauch hit 43 home runs, drove in 391 RBIs and recorded 276 stolen bases, all while maintaining his prowess as a steady hitter with a career batting average of .304.
In 1998, Knoblauch requested a trade out of Minnesota and was dealt to the New York Yankees.
The Gold Glove-winning second baseman featured in the Yankees’ three-peat of World Series championships from 1998-2000, but soon found himself struggling, particularly as a fielder.
Once beloved by Twins fans, Knoblauch was now a villain in the Twin Cities, and was subject to harsh treatment when he returned to town, including having objects thrown at him while on the field.
“… You’re trying to hurt me, knowingly throwing a quarter or a marble or something at me? It’s twisted. It made me bitter about Minnesota, definitely,” Knoblauch said via the Star Tribune.
In what may be the worst-known case of the yips in Major League Baseball history, Knoblauch’s defense deteriorated so rapidly and noticeably that he could scarcely make the easy throw from second base to first base.
Knoblauch’s career was winding down, and the Yankees didn’t re-sign him following the 2001 season. During the offseason, he joined the Kansas City Royals, where he played his final season in The Show.
Life After Baseball
Life after baseball hasn’t been great for Chuck Knoblauch.
His induction into the Minnesota Twins’ Hall of Fame was canceled after he was charged with assaulting his ex-wife, Cheri, in 2014. The incident, which took place in Houston, reportedly occurred after the former big-leaguer was upset with Cheri for sleeping in the bed with their child in another bedroom, rather than with him.
Chuck Knoblauch Now
These days, Chuck Knoblauch lives in Texas and can be found on Cameo. He’s also involved with youth baseball in the Houston area, according to his Twitter bio.