Born: November 6, 1979 (Orange County, CA)
Graduated: Fort Scott H.S., 1998 / Seminole State College, 2000
Eleven seasons in the MLB. Seven different teams. One Gold Glove. One Silver Slugger. One baseball complex that bears his name. Many things come to mind when thinking of Adam LaRoche, but what people may not realize is how LaRoche has given back to his community beyond the baseball diamond. With ties to both Fort Scott High School and Fort Scott Community College, LaRoche had first hand experience of the hardship a shared field can cause between the high school and college. It was because of this experience that LaRoche developed the LaRoche Baseball Complex at Fort Scott High School in 2015.
“Being here (Fort Scott) from the beginning when this thing started, I know the difficulty the high school had sharing with the college,” LaRoche told the Chicago Tribune. “It's pretty special.”
Before he was an MLB Gold Glove, Silver Slugger Award winner and now the namesake of the high school’s baseball complex, LaRoche was an All-American in baseball as a senior at Fort Scott. During his senior season, LaRoche helped to lead Fort Scott to a Class 4A state runner-up finish in 1998, hitting eight home runs and recording a 7-0 record as a pitcher. LaRoche credits his success in the big leagues largely to his uncle and high school head coach, David Regan, modeling not only his game on the field, but also his attitude and character off the field after him. Easy to see why LaRoche quickly became a hometown favorite.
Following his time at Fort Scott High School, LaRoche went on to play at Fort Scott Community College under the direction of his father, head coach Dave LaRoche, before transferring to Seminole State College in Oklahoma for his sophomore season.
The success and accolades followed him to Oklahoma. In 2000, he was named an All-American and the Most Valuable Player of the Junior College World Series after leading the Trojans to a third place finish in the national tournament. LaRoche was drafted in the 29th round by the Atlanta Braves in the 2000 draft and began his professional career.
A proven winner and leader at both the high school and collegiate level, LaRoche was determined to make it to the next level. LaRoche broke into the big leagues in 2004 with the Atlanta Braves. For the next twelve seasons, the Fort Scott native compiled 1,452 career hits, 882 RBI, 255 home runs and a career .260 batting average in 1,605 games played. In 2012 with the Washington Nationals, LaRoche won the Gold Glove Award and the Silver Slugger Award. He also finished fourth in the National League in home runs in 2012 with a career high 33 home runs, while setting single season career marks for hits with 155 and tying his career high for runs batted in with 100.
In total, LaRoche played for six different teams during his twelve year career, including stints with the Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, Washington Nationals, and the Chicago White Sox.
Today, you can add another item to the long list of things that come to mind at the mention of Fort Scott’s Adam LaRoche: Kansas Sports Hall of Fame Inductee.