Kenny Rogers

This article was written by Thomas E. Schott

It was strawberry fields forever where Kenny Rogers grew up, on a 15-acre strawberry farm in Dover, Florida, in the heart of Hillsborough County, just a bit west of Plant City, home of the annual state Strawberry Festival. Plant City was also where the Cincinnati Reds held spring training for many years, so Rogers grew up in baseball country, too, where kids play baseball year-round and where half a dozen or so major-league teams train in the spring in and around the Tampa area.

Kenneth Scott Rogers was born on November 10, 1964, in Savannah, Georgia, to Edgar “Earl” Rogers, a career US Air Force member, and his wife, Carol. When Earl retired to his Florida strawberry patch, he fully expected his son to follow in his footsteps as a farmer, and that certainly appeared the youngster’s path. Until his senior year at Plant City High School, Kenny had only dabbled in some Little League baseball, but that year he played right field for the school team, and that was when he caught the attention of cigar-chomping Texas Rangers scout Joe Marchese. At about 5-feet-9 and 140 pounds, the skinny 17-year-old kid would have been barely noticeable but for his arm. Marchese watched him throw two balls over third and two over the catcher’s head from right field, and when he approached him later, he told Rogers, “You’re going to be a pitcher. That’s what you’re going to be.” Rogers was skeptical, but receptive to the idea.1

So on Marchese’s advice, the Rangers drafted the young lefty in the 39th round in 1982, and Rogers began his tortuous seven-year trek to the big leagues. By his own admission, “[I]t was hard” – and discouraging. “[T]wice I told them to release me so I could go and get a real life.”2

Indeed, Rogers claimed the only reason Sarasota manager Tom Grieve in the Gulf States Rookie League didn’t release him during his first two years was because “I brought the coaches strawberries from my father’s farm.”3 Early on, “the book on him everywhere was ‘dumb and durable,’” said Tom House, who along with Dave Egan, another former southpaw pitcher, helped tutor Rogers to respectability. On his good days, the youngster could be optimistic. In 1985 he told his girlfriend, Rebecca Lynn Lewis, whom he married four years later, that he expected to play three seasons in the majors. But his record in the minors hardly indicated a big-league pitcher in the making.4

The minors for Rogers could fairly be characterized as odd, at the very least. His time in the Texas Rangers’ minor-league system extended from 1982 to 1988, during which time he lost more than twice as many games as he won (19-39), amassed a not-too-sterling 4.20 ERA – actually a bit lower than his major-league 4.27 – and a similarly lackluster 1.397 WHIP. He spent twice as much time with Class-A teams, all or parts of six seasons with relatively much better numbers, as he did with Double-A teams. And strangest of all, he spent not a day in Triple-A baseball until 2006, when he pitched 3⅔ innings on a rehab assignment to Toledo in the International League.

Still only 24 years old, Rogers made the big team coming out of spring training in 1989, and began his major-league career inauspiciously, walking the first hitter he faced on four pitches in the Rangers’ third game of the season, on April 6. He picked up his first major-league victory three days later, when Toronto’s Tom Henke blew a save and the Rangers jumped on him for two runs in the bottom of the ninth. Rogers went on to appear in 73 games that season, becoming a fixture in middle relief from the Texas bullpen. And oddly, in a career filled with oddities, the 2.93 ERA he achieved in his first season was the lowest he ever earned either as a starter or reliever in his 20-year career. As one writer so aptly observed, Rogers’ first 10 days in the majors “stands almost as a microcosm of what was to follow: indifferent, lightly worn failure, followed by modest effectiveness, mixed with carelessness saved by stunning skill and redeemed, as often as not, by luck.”5

The Rangers used Rogers primarily as a setup man out of the bullpen through 1992. In his sophomore year, he spelled Jeff Russell as the team’s closer when the latter was injured, achieving 15 saves but blowing six. He also started a dozen games during that four-year stretch. But he started none in 1992 – ironically, for that was the year Rogers, still smarting from his second straight defeat in salary arbitration with the club, started lobbying for a starting role during spring training. He then proceeded to lead the AL in game appearances (81) that season with a nice 3.10 ERA strictly as a reliever.6

With his durability established and the Texas rotation in sore need, Rogers got his wish in the 1993 season and became a starter. He almost lost his job a few times, especially during a shaky May when he went 1-3 and gave up 24 earned runs in 19⅓ innings, including a stretch of three starts in which he couldn’t get past three innings and gave up 16 runs on 18 hits and 8 walks. But he managed to finish the year with a creditable record of 16-10, with a 4.10 ERA for a Texas team that won 86 games and finished second in their division. With a little leverage this time for salary negotiations this time – up till now, he’d never gotten what he thought he deserved – Rogers agreed to a $2.3 million contract for the 1994 season.7

That season was cut short by the players strike, but not before Rogers achieved the pinnacle of pitching prowess: He threw a perfect game against the California Angels. It was the first ever by a left-hander in the American League. Using only 98 pitches on the evening of July 28 in the Rangers’ brand-new Ballpark at Arlington, he shut down the Angels 4-0. Rookie Rusty Greer preserved the gem with a spectacular diving catch in center field in the ninth on a leadoff slicing liner off the bat of Rex Hubbard. Only one other hitter, Chili Davis in the eighth, even hit the ball hard off Rogers. But Kenny didn’t have time to luxuriate in his accomplishment. (A Player of the Week Award and an appearance on Letterman quickly faded.) Two weeks after his gem, the strike began, and that news dominated the airwaves for weeks.8

In 1995 Rogers’ free-agency year, the Rangers had given him a nice bump to $3.75 million for his services, and the lefty delivered. He was named to the All-Star team (the first of four selections to the midsummer classic) and went 17-7 with a 3.38 ERA for the year. A workhorse, he pitched 208 innings with a 1.288 WHIP and 5.8 WAR (wins above replacement), to lead the team. Naturally, he expected to be handsomely rewarded for his efforts, and the Rangers made what one of their executives called “the absolute best offer we could” – a four-year deal for $17.5 million. But this didn’t satisfy Rogers. He claimed he thought negotiations “had just begun” with the Rangers when George Steinbrenner’s perennially flush New York Yankees signed him to a four-year pact at $20 million. Going to New York turned out to be one of the worst decisions Rogers ever made in a career in which he made several.9

Rogers’ time with the Bronx Bombers was, to put it mildly, a disaster. Trouble began in spring training, 1996. Rogers claimed he wasn’t able “to get comfortable on the mound.” Yankees pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre and manager Joe Torre thought he might be pressing because of his big contract.10 Whatever the reason, the lefty didn’t improve, and the ubiquitous New York media, after first wondering why the Yankees hadn’t put their expensive acquisition into the starting rotation when the season opened, soon found out why.11 By September, with the Yankees holding a comfortable nine-game lead over Boston in the AL East, the season had so unraveled for Rogers that observers were wondering whether he was “too far gone” to be of much use. At that point, Rogers was 10-8 with a 5.00 ERA, and a friend described him as “very depressed” and perhaps hurt as well. This happened to be true on both counts: Rogers had been struck on the left shoulder by a line drive in spring training, and “he didn’t help himself by keeping the injury secret and incurring Torre’s seldom seen wrath.”12

The Yankees cruised easily into the postseason and eventually to a world championship. Rogers, with a chance for redemption, failed miserably. Starting three games, one each in the Division Series, League Championship Series, and World Series, he achieved a 14.14 ERA in only seven total innings pitched, gave up 15 hits, 11 earned runs, and two homers, while walking six and striking out four. Even after a personal exhortation from The Boss – Steinbrenner himself – his Series start in Game Four against the Atlanta Braves was a horror: two innings, 13 batters, five hits, five runs, a homer, and two walks. Amazingly, because of Yankee resilience, the lefty didn’t absorb a loss for any of these awful postseason outings. In fact, the Bombers won them all.13

The 1997 season brought more of the same. In early May, the New York Post declared “Kenny Starting To Crack” in a massive headline. Manager Torre thought his pitcher’s problems more mental than physical: Rogers strayed from his game plan, too impatient. “He over-complicates it.” Basically Rogers suffered a crisis of confidence. “Rogers’ approach to pitching any given game,” columnist Tom Keegan observed, “is a case study in a man’s inability to weather failure. He throws one bad pitch and wants to reinvent himself as a pitcher.” Unsurprisingly, the Yankees were shopping Rogers on the trading market as early as June. Torre made no secret of what he thought, in his 1998 book Chasing the Dream: Rogers was “one of the most difficult players I ever managed.”14

Although a July trade that would have sent Rogers to the San Diego Padres fell through, New York succeeded in November in offloading their problem pitcher (plus half his $10 million salary for two years) to the Oakland A’s in exchange for utility infielder Scott Brosius. Once on the opposite coast, Rogers seemed to experience a rebirth. In 1998 he won 16 games losing 8 with a 3.17 ERA to go with it. He pitched 238⅔ innings, more than any other season in his career. He also achieved his career fourth-best strikeout/walk ratio (2.06), and his career-best WHIP (1.182), and by far his best WAR (7.58, second in the AL for pitchers).15

All the more strange, then, that the 34-year-old southpaw’s performance fell off so notably in 1999. He was 5-3 with a 4.30 ERA and was giving up more than 10 hits per nine innings when the A’s traded him on July 23 to the New York Mets for a couple of prospects. More than one writer found it “curious” that the A’s would do this, especially since they were contending for a wild-card playoff spot. But the real reason did not surprise anybody who knew Kenny. “Rogers did not endear himself to the organization. … He was disgruntled, and wanted out.” He had become a persona non grata and a clubhouse problem with the A’s since he announced in spring training that he would not be re-signing with the team at the end of his contract. The A’s general manager, Billy Beane, declared the trade with the Mets essential: “You had 24 guys pulling one direction, and one guy pulling in the other.”16

Rogers didn’t seem likely to endear himself to the Mets either. Beat writer Selena Roberts said there was “something unnerving” about the man, “a disturbing unknown” with an “aloof personality” that kept teammates and coaches at a distance. Moreover, “he is incapable of telling a story that doesn’t twist and bend.” Rogers had arrived at the Mets with a hamstring injury and two different explanations about how it happened. “You know Kenny,” said his new manager, Bobby Valentine, who knew him well from Texas. “He always says he’s fine.” Problem was, the writer continued, “how do you trust Rogers? How do you know when he’s healthy and when he’s not?”17

Rogers put up some serviceable numbers in the 76 innings he pitched for the Mets in 1999 (5-1, 4.07 ERA). Presumably he had helped the Mets reach the playoffs as the wild-card team, but he provided no help at all in the ensuing postseason. The Atlanta Braves eliminated the Mets in the NLCS, in the bottom of the 11th inning of the sixth game – when Rogers, in relief, walked in the winning walk-off run on five pitches. Which crowned an egregious playoff performance: 3 games lost, 12 innings pitched, 16 hits (including two home runs), 9 walks, 8 strikeouts, and an ERA of 7.09. 

As a free agent at season’s end, Rogers decided to take another drink at the original well and signed a three-year deal with the Texas Rangers for $22.5 million. Kenny claimed it had been “no secret” that he wanted to return, and he wanted to repeat his previous success in Texas and hoped to stay more than the three years. He wouldn’t, at least not consecutive years, because he again opted for free agency at the end of this contract. The years Rogers pitched on this stay with the Rangers could not be described as particularly distinguished. He went 31-28 for the period with an ERA of 4.64; he continued to amass innings pitched (558⅔) and posted a lousy 1.461 WHIP. A couple of events stood out for him: he won the first pair of his five career Gold Glove Awards in 2000 and 2002 (the others came in 2004-06).18 And the 2001 season marked the first time Rogers had ever gone onto the disabled list in his 14-year career. In July he had to undergo season-ending surgery to correct a circulation problem in his left shoulder.19

One thing remaining constant, though, was Rogers’ disdain for Rangers salary proposals after service with the team.20 At the conclusion of the 2002 season, Texas offered the 37-year-old a two-year deal for $10.5 million. Rogers spurned the offer and then had to swallow his pride and squeeze his pocketbook to accept a one-year $2 million offer from the Minnesota Twins that didn’t come until mid-March. “My pride and ego got in the way,” he admitted.21 But having served his time with the Twins (13-8, 4.57 ERA), the greener pastures in Arlington, Texas, beckoned once again. And why not? As desperate for pitching as Rogers was for a job, the Rangers were willing to sign a 38-year-old pitcher for two years, albeit at the relatively cheap price of $6 million. “I never wanted to leave,” Rogers claimed, a bit disingenuously. “It’s an extremely happy day to come back here and probably finish my career here.”22

No one could have suspected that at age 39, Rogers was about to embark on the most solid three-season span of his career, a time that made Kenny Rogers a household name in the baseball world, not only for several sterling pitching achievements, but arguably even more for less laudatory on-field occurrences. He spent the first two years, 2004-05, with Texas. And then, as was his custom, rejected their contract offer and accepted a two-year contract from the Detroit Tigers at $8 million a year.

It was a remarkable three years. Rogers made the All-Star team and won Gold Glove Awards in all three seasons; he went 49-25 with a 4.04 ERA and averaged 3.9 WAR per season for the period. He starred in the postseason for Detroit in 2006. But he could not avoid further clouding his image and reputation in the process.

Kenny Rogers had never been easy-going. One observer characterized him at the end of his career as “arrogant and pompous,” to which "touchy" and "hot-headed" could easily be added.23 The list of particulars bearing this out is a long one. Rogers could be a volatile teammate. He and another shave-tail Rangers pitcher, Kevin Brown, both barely into the big leagues, had angered veteran Texas players in camp in March 1991 by staging a one-day walkout to protest the team’s negotiating tactics on pay. He and multiyear All-Star catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez got into a dugout squabble during the 1994 season. He shoved local sportswriter Simon Gonzalez out of the clubhouse that same year, and after a loss at home to the A’s, he destroyed an exercise bike in the visitors clubhouse that cost him over $2,700 in docked pay. Rogers fought on a plane trip and continued it in a hotel elevator over a card game with A’s teammate Jason McDonald in 1999. And Rogers raised the ire of manager Joe Torre and all his Yankees teammates when in the midst of a shellacking by the Seattle Mariners during 1997, he plunked utterly inoffensive Ken Griffey Jr. in the buttocks with a pitch. Rogers claimed it got away from him, but other Yankees, including Torre, didn’t believe him. They attributed it to frustration.24

On June 17, 2005, a couple of weeks before the outburst that made him SportsCenter fodder for a week, Rogers had broken a bone in his nonpitching hand punching a water cooler in the dugout after being removed from a game. Up until then, the lefty had been having a marvelous season (9-2 with a league-leading 2.46 ERA).25 But he wasn’t happy. After winning 18 games in 2004, he approached Rangers owner Tom Hicks and requested a contract extension. Hicks refused. “Word got out that Rogers threatened to retire immediately if the contract wasn’t extended.” Though the lefty denied the story, the local media criticized him roundly, and Kenny blamed the Rangers “for spreading the news. And the media for circulating it.” Rogers promptly ceased having anything to do with the media.26

With all this lurking in the background – not to mention tension with Texas manager Buck Showalter over a number of issues, a couple of untoward incidents with a reporter and cameraman, and some miscellaneous property destruction – on June 29, Rogers flipped his lid. Walking onto the field for warmup stretching that day, Rogers shoved two cameramen. When one of them, Larry Rodriguez of Dallas’s Fox affiliate KDFW, resumed filming, Rogers shoved him again, knocked the camera to the ground, and kicked it. Rodriguez was hospitalized with pain in shoulder, arm, and neck, and he subsequently filed an assault complaint against the lefty. Official baseball reacted swiftly. Commissioner Bud Selig fined Rogers $50,000 and suspended him for 20 games (later reduced by an arbitrator to 13). On July 18 Rogers was booked on a charge of misdemeanor assault and released on bond. In the following weeks and months, the pitcher checked all the appropriate boxes: issuing public and private apologies, completing an anger-management course, and settling a lawsuit with Rodriguez for an undisclosed sum. But to the chagrin of many, he chose to participate in the All-Star Game (where he didn’t fare well, giving up two earned runs on three hits in his one inning). And further besmirching of his reputation did not go away.27

Rogers delivered another good season in 2006, his first with the Detroit Tigers on a two-year deal. Remaining healthy, he started 34 games, pitched over 200 innings, and went 17-8. The Tigers won 95 games and went into the postseason as the AL’s wild-card team. And in this, his fourth postseason with a fourth different team, Kenny finally found his stride. He helped pitch his team into the World Series. In one of the most emotional wins of his entire career, on October 6 at Comerica Park, he secured a win against future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson and the Yankees in the third game of the ALDS. Rogers threw 7⅔ innings of five-hit ball, surrendering no runs and striking out eight. Detroit went on to blow right past the Oakland A’s in the ALCS, with Rogers winning the third game after another 7⅓ scoreless innings (two hits, six strikeouts).

But then fortune turned on the Tigers, who managed but a single win in the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. And that was the second game, the one Kenny Rogers started. Once again Rogers appeared peerless on the mound: He pitched eight scoreless innings on two hits, winning his third game of the playoffs. But controversy eclipsed his magnificent performance that night, and indeed spilled over into questions about his first two playoff victories as well. During the first inning, TV commentator Tim McCarver noticed and mentioned a dark smudge, a brown substance, on Rogers’ pitching hand, below the thumb. It had disappeared when Rogers came out to pitch the second, but suspicions abounded. Was it pine tar? Had Rogers been cheating? Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa lodged no official complaint, and Rogers explained it had been a mixture of rosin and mud. Opinion ran the spectrum. Hall of Famers Bob Feller and Gaylord Perry, a master practitioner of doctoring baseballs, didn’t doubt for an instant that Rogers cheated. Nor did many writers and fans. But nothing could be proven one way or another, since no one on the St. Louis side ever requested that the umpires examine Rogers’ hand. So Kenny Rogers’ 23 consecutive scoreless playoff innings pitched remains to this day the record for a left-hander, albeit under an inevitable cloud.28

Reality and his 42 years of age finally caught up with Rogers in 2007. Because of surgery to remove a blood clot in his left shoulder in late March, Rogers didn’t start a game until June 22. And he was sidelined by injury again for the entire month of August. He finished out the year 3-4 with a 4.43 ERA, having pitched only 64 innings.29 Offered a one-year contract with the Tigers for 2008 for $8 million, Rogers seized it eagerly. Amazingly, by then the oldest active major leaguer at 43 stayed healthy for the entire season. But he was clearly done: He won only three of 13 starts in the second half of the season, finishing the year 9-13 with a 5.70 ERA and 1.630 WHIP.30

As a durable pitcher for almost 20 seasons, Rogers’ longevity assured that his name would appear on several all-time record lists. For example, with “one of the greatest pickoff moves in baseball history, he is second [to Steve Carlton] in all-time pickoffs with 93.” He is also only one of eight pitchers with over 200 wins (219) never to have won 20 games in a season. He appears on numerous Rangers leader lists: first in appearances (528), second in wins (133), innings (1,909), and career WAR, third in starts (252) and K’s (1,201).31

Rogers never formally retired from baseball. He just stopped playing. He served as a special pitching instructor for Detroit during spring training in 2010, and Texas, for whom he played 12 years, inducted him as the 14th member of the Rangers Hall of Fame on August 6, 2011. As of 2016 he, his wife, Becky, and their two children, Jessica and Trevor, resided in Westlake, Texas, a suburb of Dallas.32

 

Notes

Statistical information is from baseball-reference.com. Unless otherwise noted, all newspaper (except The Sporting News) and web sources cited in the notes are from clippings in Kenny Rogers file, Giamatti Research Center, Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, New York.

Notes

1 Bob Nightengale, “Scout Saw Rogers’ Talent,” USA Today, October 10, 2006;  Mark Cannizzaro, “Luck & Rogers a Perfect Match,” New York Post, April 26, 1995.

2  Cannizzaro, “Luck & Rogers”; Bob Nightengale, “At 41, Rogers Finds a Good Fit,” USA Today, October 10, 2006.

3 Jay Jaffe, “JAWS and the 2014 Hall of Fame Ballot: Kenny Rogers,” Sports Illustrated, December 26, 2013.

4  Tim Kurkjian, “As Good as It Gets,” Sports Illustrated, August 8, 1994.

5 Michael Coffey, 27 Men Out: Baseball’s Perfect Games (New York: Atria Books, 2004), 221.

6 Tony DeMarco, “Rogers Brings Suspense to Role as Team’s Closer,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, July 15, 1990; T.R. Sullivan, “For Starters, Rogers Wants Spot in the Rotation,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, February 20, 1993.

7 The Sporting News, May 31, 1993: 30, August 23, 1993: 31; New York Times, February 3, 1994.

8 “Rangers’ Rogers Perfect in 4-0 Win,” USA Today, July 29, 1994; “Baseball: Rogers Throws Perfect Game for Rangers,” New York Times, July 29, 1994; Kurkjian, “As Good as It Gets.”

9T.R. Sullivan, “Rogers Out,” The Sporting News, January 8, 15, 1996.

10 Jim Salisbury, “Tape Reveals Rogers’ Flaws,” New York Post, March 21, 1996: 72.

11 Murray Chass, “A Healthy 17-Game Winner Winds Up in Yankee Limbo,” New York Times, April 16, 1996. The Yankees were treating Rogers “like Cinderella,” Chass wrote.

12 “Rogers’s Shoulders Now Must Bear the Weight of a Race,” New York Times, September 18, 1996. The unnamed friend was teammate hurler Andy Pettitte.

13 Jim Salisbury, “Boss to Kenny: I’m Waiting,” New York Post, October 24, 1996.

14 Tom Keegan, “Kenny Starting to Crack,” New York Post, May 6, 1997; “Vaughn Returned to Sender,” Oneonta New York Star, July 7, 1997; Torre quoted in Jack Curry, “Torre and Rogers, Act II,” New York Times, October 6, 2006.

15 Joel Sherman, “Kenny Rogers to Go,” New York Post, November 8, 1997; Bill Madden, “Besides ‘Stink,’ No Rogers Regret,” New York Daily News, February 2, 1998.

16 “Mets Take Gamble on Rogers,” Oneonta Star, July 24, 1999; Gary Petersen, “Rogers Just Too Self-Conscious,” Contra Costa (California) Times, July 11, 2005.

17  Selena Roberts, “Mets’ Rogers Is a Pitcher of Mystery,” New York Times, August 26, 1998.

18 Rogers, the former shortstop and outfielder, was always a good fielder, leading the league several times in assists and range factor for a pitcher. He also had a renowned pickoff move.

19 “Texas Signs lefty Rogers,” Oneonta Star, December 30, 1999; “Rogers’ Season Ends,” Albany (New York) Times Union, July 21, 2001.

20 Randy Galloway, “Rogers’ Past Tells Us a Lot About His Present,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, June 2, 2005. This article makes an excellent case that suppressed anger about the money Texas paid him always lurked in Rogers while he was with the Rangers.

21 New York Times, September 25, 2003.

22 New York Post, January 14, 2004. Rogers’ stint with Minnesota involved his third trip to the postseason, where he pitched an inning and a third against the Yankees, gave up a hit, and struck out three.

23 “All-Time Bad Guys Team,” For Baseball Junkies. baseballjunkies.blogspot.com/2012/05/all-time-bad-guys-team.html.

24 The Sporting News, March 18, 1991, April 18, 1994; USA Today Baseball Weekly, May 12-18, 1999: 3; Jim Reeves, “Lack of Control Was Displayed 11 years ago,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, July 2, 2005; Jack Curry, “Yanks Irked That Rogers Plunked Griffey,” New York Times, August 24, 1997. Tino Martinez paid for Rogers’ sin two innings later by getting hit on the leg with a pitch from the M’s Jeff Fassaro.

25 Ben Shpigel, “Broken Right Hand Shelved Rogers,” Dallas Morning News, July 28, 2005. See also “Rogers Pitching a Blue Streak,” Dallas Morning News, May 21, 2005.

26 Galloway, “Rogers’ Past Tells About His Present.”

27 Jose De Jesus Ortiz, “Rogers Can’t Handle Pressure,” Houston Chronicle, July 3, 2005; ESPN, “Ranger Pitcher Confronts and Threatens Cameraman,” espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2097491; “Rogers to Sit 20 games,” New York Post, July 2, 2005; Evan Grant, “Rogers: ‘I Failed Miserably,’ ” Ernesto Londono, “Rangers’ Rogers Charged With Assault,” Evan Grant, “Ruling Ends Rogers’ Penalty,” Matt Mosley, “Cameraman Files Lawsuit Sgainst Rogers,” Evan Grant, “Ex-Ranger Rogers May Have Changed His Persona,” all in The Dallas Morning News, July 7, 18, August 10, October 6, 2005, April 7, 2006; Tim Dalhberg (Associated Press), “Rogers Should Walk Away From All-Star game,” Oneonta Star, July 6, 2005.

28 Gene Wojciechowski, “Rogers Was Masterful, but Did He Cheat?” ESPN.com, October 23, 2006; Paul White, “Real Dirt on Rogers Unclear,” USA Today, October 24, 2006;  Bob Nightengale, “Hall of Famer Feller Blasts Rogers, Says, ‘Of Course He Was Cheating,’” Jon Saraceno, “Spitball Master Watches Rogers With Admiration,” Dan Vergano, “Did He or Didn’t He? It’s a Sticky Question,” USA Today, October 25, 2006; Murray Chass, “Reassessing Hand That Rocked the Series,” New York Times, November 5, 2006.

29 “Rogers Out After Surgery for a Blood Clot,” New York Times, March 31, 2007..

30 New York Daily News, December 1, 2007.

31 Louis Horvath, “Rogers Inducted in Ranger Hall of Fame,” accessed March 16, 2016, mlb.mlb.com/news/20110806/22851920.html; “Kenny Rogers,” accessed March 12, 2016, tigersdetroit.wikia.com/wiki/Kenny_Rogers.

32 Email, Reference Librarian, Local History and Genealogy, Library of Congress, to Tom Schott, March 18, 2016.