09/26/08 4:19 PM ET
Where are they now? Curtis Leskanic
Former reliever can be found on golf course with daughter
By Jeff Birnbaum / MLB.com
The right-hander played for the Rockies at a time when there was no humidor to keep pitchers' ERAs from looking like Donald Trump's bank account. But Leskanic, with his long wavy hair and cheek filled with chaw, never backed down. He recorded 415 strikeouts, compiled 20 saves and had a relatively low 5.09 ERA while pitching for Colorado from 1993-99.
"You never knew what was going to happen back then," Leskanic said. "I just went out there and tried to make them beat me."
These days, when Leskanic has a moment of free time, you can usually find him in a much more relaxing environment: the golf course. And every time he goes, it's always with his favorite putting partner -- his two-year-old daughter, Chloe.
"Little Chloe is just starting to come of her own," Leskanic said. "I can already tell she's probably the most athletic out of all [my children]. I take her out on the golf course and she can already putt, and she swings at the ball real good. She's far advanced."
Leskanic, now 40 and retired with his wife in Orlando, Fla., has two other children to chase around. Brandon, 14, is heavily into baseball and football, while Chandler, 10, likes cheerleading.
Leskanic said being a full-time dad doesn't leave him time for much else.
"I'm a chauffeur, a dishwasher, a clothes cleaner and a coach," he said. "I do it all, man."
Leskanic is a vital part of his family, and he was equally important to the Rockies' 1995 Wild Card team, which needed to win its final game against the Giants to clinch the franchise's first playoff berth.
It didn't look good early. The Giants jumped to an early 8-2 lead. But the Rockies clawed back and were clinging to a 10-9 lead when they called on Leskanic to close the ninth.
Leskanic got out of the inning unscathed, and the team erupted in wild celebration.
"That was definitely one of my most memorable games," he said.
Leskanic went on to pitch for the Brewers and Royals before earning a championship ring with the Red Sox in 2004.
The Rockies played Boston in last year's World Series, and Leskanic said he had a tough time deciding who to root for.
"I had ties with both," he said. "I just wanted to see a good series."
Leskanic has always loved Denver, though, and has often thought about coming back.
"I'd like to do some radio shows or some sports shows there," he said. "If I got to do something like that, I think it would be kind of a fun deal for me, because I think when you get out of the game for a little while, you kind of miss it."
Jeff Birnbaum is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.