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Adam LaRoche caused a stir in the baseball world during spring training when he abruptly retired and walked away from his $13 million salary.
The 36-year-old first baseman decided to call it quits when, according to reports, Chicago White Sox president Ken Williams asked Adam to “dial back” bringing his 14-year-old son, Drake, around the clubhouse.
Drake, during many stops of Adam’s career, had become a fixture around teams, with his own locker with the White Sox and frequently helping out with equipment during practices.
Soon after the decision, a three-year-old quote from LaRoche started making the rounds in which he explained why Drake was not going to school regularly, saying, “I’m not big on school.”
LaRoche sat down with ESPN’s Tim Keown recently in a wide-ranging story about LaRoche’s peculiar outlook on life. One of the discussions, of course, was schooling, and LaRoche elaborated on the quote:
“I said, ‘I’m not big on school,’ and I will back that up. Obviously, you have to go to school. It’s not like it was 100 years ago – even though I wish it was – when you literally followed your dad around. I’m from the Midwest, so typically it was out farming or ranching. If you’re old enough to walk, you’re going to be out working. I think school is a great way to get knowledge, but I don’t know how much wisdom you get. That’s what you pick up in real life.”
It’s clear LaRoche views schooling differently than many parents, valuing real-life experience over courses and tests. He also told Keown that he felt that, despite the occasionally testosterone-driven nature of a clubhouse, if would beneficial for Drake to experience that at his side.
LaRoche also recalled a parent-teacher conference he had for Drake and his daughter, Montana, in which he quickly got to the point, telling the teachers, “Listen, no disrespect at all, but I honestly don’t care about their grades or how they’re scoring. All I care about is two questions: How are they treating their classmates, and how are they treating you?”
However, LaRoche feels at ease with the decision. He said after nights of pondering retirement, when he announced it to the team, he said, plainly, “I am choosing my son over you guys.”
As for whether Drake is taking it hard, LaRoche said, “Honestly, I think he sees it as more time to hunt and fish.”