Former Minnesota Twins star Chuck Knoblauch was slated to be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame on Aug. 23, but a disturbing legal situation has caused the Twins to do away with the impending coronation.
Knoblauch was arrested, charged with misdemeanor assault for hitting and pushing his ex-wife and released on $10,000 bond, according to a Thursday report by The Associated Press. The 12-year MLB veteran's first court date is scheduled for July 30, and the ceremony for his Twins Hall of Fame induction has been canceled.
ABC 13 Houston had Knoblauch's mugshot:
The linked report from ABC 13 Eyewitness News provided further details on what occurred during the incident on Wednesday in Houston. It noted that Knoblauch was charged specifically with assault on a family member and interfering with police duties:
According to a police report, Knoblauch assaulted his wife, leaving a large bruise on her arm, a larger scratch on the left side of her face and a knot on her forehead.
Knoblauch's wife, Cheri, told police her husband was upset she slept next to her child in another bedroom rather than next to him. He allegedly grabbed her and smashed her head against a wall before throwing a humidifier at her.
Cheri ran to her sister-in-law, who was at home with them, for help but that allegedly didn't stop Knoblauch. Instead, he allegedly hit her in the arm and chest and continued screaming at her.
Knoblauch's sister took Cheri back to her home, where they called police.
For the sake of clarity, it is worth noting that Chuck Knoblauch divorced Cheri Knoblauch in 2012, according to ESPN.com news services.
Jesse Spector of Sporting News shared his thoughts on the Twins' decision to cancel the August ceremony that was set to honor the longtime Twin:
Good for the Twins canceling team HOF ceremony for Chuck Knoblauch after he was arrested for assaulting his ex-wife, especially next to NFL.— Jesse Spector (@jessespector) July 24, 2014
As it was, when Knoblauch left the Twins and returned to Minnesota as a member of the New York Yankees in 2001, fans threw objects at him as he stood in left field. As a result, Knoblauch couldn't help but have hard feelings toward the fanbase, per the Star Tribune's Amelia Rayno:
It hurt. I mean, I'm human. I can't even give you any details. It was like an out-of-body experience ... that's the part of my life that's like, 'Really?' It really meant that much? 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.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press' Mike Berardino documented what Twins president Dave St. Peter said regarding Knoblauch's situation:
"No plans to reschedule" Knoblauch induction, @TwinsPrez said.— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) July 24, 2014
Knoblauch was also convicted of hitting a different former wife in 2010, receiving one year of probation for that transgression, per the ESPN.com report.
It remains to be seen what type of punishment he will receive following Wednesday's purported, brutal offenses.
Knoblauch, 46, was born in Houston and played baseball at Bellaire High School before going on to become a four-time All-Star and 1991 American League Rookie of the Year in Minnesota. He posted a career slash line of .289/.378/.406 to go along with 1,839 hits, 98 home runs and 407 stolen bases.
Minnesota's move to cancel the ceremony is an example other clubs will likely follow. If similar, unfortunate circumstances arise, it ought to set a strong precedent. The abrupt decision regarding Knoblauch will also likely be cast in a far more favorable light than Ray Rice's NFL suspension, making domestic violence a more prominent issue in sports debate than at any other time in recent memory.
Missing out on the Twins Hall of Fame has to be the least of Knoblauch's concerns at the moment. His future appears ominous, considering he may be convicted of assault for a second time. Due process still has to run its course, but based on the initial reported details, it appears Knoblauch has a difficult legal ordeal ahead.