Tuesday, August 05, 2008
I don't know if this is news to anyone else, but it was to me. John Kruk spoke with the Charleston Gazette recently about a former friend who back in Kruk's playing days was a "drug-possessed, gun-toting psychopath" (his own words). The story is wild and perfect for a Tuesday morning. Here are a few excerpts....
Plummer told Kruk he sold his business for $100,000 and asked if Kruk would mind if he came out to San Diego to visit. Jay Hafer, whom Plummer used as a getaway driver on many of his robberies, had received a $30,000 settlement from a lawsuit after being attacked by a dog. He asked if he could come out, too.That's not even half of the story, and I urge you to read the whole thing when you get a chance, but holy s**t. First of all, I want that damn hat.....Secondly, you occasionally hear of similar stories involving inner city friends, but rarely associated with two country kids from West Virginia. It's tough to imagine the stresses of an athlete on a daily basis, but when you add outside forces like this it has to be borderline unbearable.
At Plummer's suggestion the three of them rented a house that October. Plummer took out a yearlong lease. Kruk said at the time he was making about $60,000 a year, not a lot of money when you're living in San Diego.
Soon Kruk was hearing stories from Keyser about Plummer skipping town, owing people money, and robbing a local grocery store.
In February 1988 he went to spring training.
"I kept hearing more from spring training. When I got back for the season, I don't know what excuse I made to him, but I said I needed to find my own place," Kruk said. "Then, of course, the FBI comes in right before batting practice and it's 'Holy crap.'"
The FBI questioned Kruk and showed him a picture of Plummer robbing a bank wearing a hat that read, "American by Birth. West Virginian by the Grace of God."
The FBI told Kruk that Plummer believed he was the one that turned him in.
"What I'm hearing from the FBI and other people is that he's a drug-possessed, gun-toting psychopath now. Everyone is telling me, 'He's coming after you,'" Kruk said. "Every knock on the door could be a teammate or it could be him. It scared the shit out of you."
Again, take some time to read through the whole thing and good for John to make it through that whole ordeal. It makes his time with the sirens (above) seem tame.
Baseball star John Kruk one of many fooled by bank robber (Charleston Gazette)