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Baseball player John Martin Kruk was born in Charleston February 9, 1961. Raised in Keyser, he played baseball at Keyser High School and Potomac State College in Mineral County, and at Allegheny Community College in Maryland. Kruk was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 1981 and played for teams in their minor league franchise before making his major league debut with the Padres on opening day, April 7, 1986. He completed the 1987 season with a .313 batting average, 20 home runs and 91 runs batted in.

Worries about the criminal behavior of former friends apparently affected his on-field performance in the 1988 season. On June 2, 1989, the Padres traded Kruk to the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies used him primarily at first base where he blossomed, playing in the 1991, ’92 and ’93 All-Star games. He was a member of the Phillies’ “Macho Row,” which led the team to the 1993 World Series, losing to the Toronto Blue Jays.

In 1994, testicular cancer (which was successfully resolved) and knee problems led to Kruk being granted free agency at the end of the season. In 1995, he became a designated hitter with the Chicago White Sox. On July 30, 1995, in a game at Baltimore, Kruk unexpectedly walked away from baseball after getting one final hit. “The desire to compete at this level is gone. When that happens, it’s time to go,” Kruk said. He finished a ten-year career with a .300 batting average, 100 home runs and 592 runs batted in.

After publishing the book I Ain’t an Athlete, Lady in 1994, Kruk worked as a broadcaster and commentator for Fox Sports and local Philadelphia telecasts. In 2004, he joined ESPN where he is an analyst on Sunday Night Baseball and Baseball Tonight. John Kruk lives in Mount Laurel Township, New Jersey.

Last Revised on February 08, 2016


Harki Gary A.. Baseball star John Kruk one of many fooled by bank robber. Charleston Gazette, August 5, 2008.

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e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia "John Kruk." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 08 February 2016. Web. 25 June 2024.


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