FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – 188 players have suited up for the Fort Wayne Wizards & TinCaps and have gone on to play in the Majors – but Indiana native LaTroy Hawkins was the first to do it when he made his MLB debut for the Minnesota Twins 25 years ago this week on April 29, 1995.
Hawkins, a seventh-round draft pick out of Gary West Side High School, was a member of the inaugural Wizards team in 1993. Just 20 years old, the righty went on to have what stands as the best season a pitcher in Fort Wayne has ever had, winning the Midwest League’s triple crown with 15 victories, 179 strikeouts, and a 2.06 ERA.
Hawkins would go on to pitch for 11 teams in the Majors in a career that spanned 21 seasons. He retired after the 2015 season at the age of 42.
He currently lives in Texas and is a special assistant to baseball operations with the Twins. He also is a regular on the team’s broadcasts, and was slated to work about 25 games this season before the pandemic hit.