Of all of the pro jocks I have covered, former Texas Rangers outfielder Chad Curtis ranks as one of the most brutally candid, not to mention truly unique, personalities I have met. It made him exiled in his own locker room. I never sensed his teammates liked him.
But I can't say I would have ever seen this one coming:
Curtis is retired now, and according to this report on MLive.com, he has been accused of inappropriately touching four high school students at a Michigan high school. No criminal charges have been filed.
Curtis, 43, who played for the Texas Rangers in 2000 and 2001, has been a volunteer assistant at Lakewood Schools in Barron County, Michigan. He had been a substitute teacher in the district, and was currently serving as a volunteer in the high school weight room.
He was scheduled to become the head football coach at Lakewood this fall. He is currently under suspension during an investigation.
Curtis came to the Rangers after a couple of productive years with the New York Yankees. A devout Christian who wore his faith on his sleeve, he was a favorite of then Rangers manager Johnny Oates, who shared similar beliefs. There was a theory that Oates kept Curtis on the roster because of that.
Curtis was nice and professional, but he was not your typical major league personality. He was different.
Curtis once cornered me in the Rangers' dugout in Oakland late in the 2001 season when he was doggedly explaining to me his religious beliefs, among other things. A pair of his teammates were laughing at me over his shoulder.
Curtis could easily come across as aloof, above it, and he really didn't make friends when he spoke about steroids in baseball in a time when that was decidedly not cool.
Perhaps it was not a coincidence that 2001 was his final MLB season.
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