Chicago White Sox player Adam LaRoche was presented with one tough choice: a $13 million contract or spending time with his son. For LaRoche, it was a no-brainer. After a 12-year career, he chose the latter.
The 36-year-old was told by general manager Ken Williams that his teenage son Drake was spending too much time in the team clubhouse, and it needed to stop. Drake had become a clubhouse regular to the point where he was called the team’s “26th man.”
“I don’t think he should be here 100 percent of the time—and he has been here 100 percent, every day, in the clubhouse,” Williams reported to Fox Sports. “I said that I don’t even think he should be here 50 percent of the time. Figure it out, somewhere in between.”
Well as an all-or-nothing sort of family man, “between” just wasn’t good enough for LaRoche.
The first baseman announced on Twitter that he was retiring this week along with a shout of gratitude to God for letting him play the game and a hashtag that read #FamilyFirst.
But one month later, it turns out there is more to Adam LaRoche’s story than meets the eye. Spending time with his son may have been one motivation for him to walk away from Major League Baseball, but that’s not all.
A recent report by ESPN reveals a deeper reason behind his decision to walk that speaks even more highly of his Christ-like character. An excerpt from the article reads:
LaRoche, along with Brewers pitcher Blaine Boyer, spent 10 days in November in Southeast Asian brothels, wearing a hidden camera and doing undercover work to help rescue underage sex slaves. All of which raises a question: After 12 years in the big leagues, the endless days and nights in dugouts and clubhouses, how did LaRoche’s nearly cinematic level of nonconformity escape detection?
…Working through a nonprofit called the Exodus Road, LaRoche and Boyer conducted surveillance in brothels and tried to determine the age of the girls—known only by numbers pinned to bikinis—and identify their bosses.
“Something huge happened there for us,” Boyer says. “You can’t explain it. Can’t put your finger on it. If you make a wrong move, you’re getting tossed off a building. We were in deep, man, but that’s the way it needed to be done. Adam and I truly believe God brought us there and said, ‘This is what I have for you boys.’”
He aims to continue this work throughout what would have been his 13th season in professional baseball. For LaRoche, there is still a connection between fighting against sex trafficking and fighting for his family. He said that it made him “sick” to think of his own children in the position of one of these young, helpless girls. No multi-million dollar contract was about to stand in the way of that reality. Period.
As stated by ESPN (in almost biblical fashion), “LaRoche speaks with a kind of certainty that makes doubt seem like a disease.”
Wow—that’s quite the vivid analogy for ya. What if we were all filled with such faith that doubt was nothing but a cancer in our souls? Thanks for showing us how to step out in boldness, Adam, even when the world is baffled by your choice to seek righteousness over riches. Way to leave that diamond in the dust and hit a home run for heaven!