What is John Rocker’s Net Worth, Salary and Career Earnings?
John Rocker is a retired professional baseball player who has a net worth of $2 million. John Rocker played in the MLB as a relief pitcher from 1998 to 2003. After spending four seasons with the Atlanta Braves, he played one season each for the Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, and Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Following his retirement from baseball, Rocker competed alongside his girlfriend on the 29th season of the reality television series “Survivor.”
During his major league career, John Rocker earned a little over $5 million. His highest single-season salary came in his final season, 2002, when he earned $2.5 million from the Texas Rangers.
Early Life and High School
John Rocker was born on October 17, 1974 in Statesboro, Georgia. As a teen, he went to First Presbyterian Day School in Macon, where he got his start pitching on his school’s baseball team.
Although he had initially committed to playing collegiate baseball with the University of Georgia Bulldogs, Rocker was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 1993 MLB draft. After playing in the minors, he was called up to the major league club in 1998. In his first season with the Braves, Rocker went 1-3 with a 2.13 ERA across 38 innings pitched. The next season, he was moved to the position of closing pitcher to fill in for the injured Kerry Ligtenberg. As a closer, Rocker went 4-5 with a 2.49 ERA. For his third season in 2000, he went 1-2 with a 2.89 ERA; however, in June, he was demoted for issuing threats to a reporter. Due to his increasingly unruly behavior, Rocker began to be vigorously taunted by fans of opposing teams. As a result, his pitching performance suffered.
Indians, Rangers, and Devil Rays
In the summer of 2001, Rocker was traded to the Cleveland Indians. He went on to go 3-7 with a 5.45 ERA during his single season with the team, and also made it to the ALDS against the Seattle Mariners. The next year, Rocker was traded to the Texas Rangers. Refusing to be sent to the minor leagues, he had a rough year and languished at 2-3 with a 6.66 ERA. After being released by the Rangers, Rocker signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays; continuing his run of poor performances, he was released after only two appearances, during which his ERA was 9.00.
Rocker sat out the 2004 season in order to recover from surgery he had on his left shoulder. He returned to baseball the following year as a member of the independent Atlantic League’s Long Island Ducks. However, for going 0-2 with a 6.50 ERA across 23 games, he was released by the team.
Over the course of his professional career, Rocker became notorious for his numerous controversial, inflammatory, and disparaging statements. In an issue of Sports Illustrated published in late 1999, he was featured in a story in which he made racist and homophobic comments about the population of New York City. This was in response to a question about whether he would ever play for the city’s baseball teams. Additionally, Rocker called Mets fans “degenerates.” For his remarks, he was suspended from the first 14 games of the 2000 MLB season.
Rocker drew uproar again in 2002 when he launched slurs at patrons of a Dallas restaurant where he was eating, which was located in a largely LGBTQ neighborhood. He later defended his former teammate Ozzie Guillén’s use of a homophobic epithet. Rather than attempt to rehabilitate his reputation, Rocker only dug himself deeper by releasing a book of what he called “conservative Republican rantings.”
Among his other controversies, Rocker was named in the Mitchell Report as one of the MLB players to have used steroids. In 2011, he admitted to his use of the drug, defending himself by saying that everyone else was using it too.
In 2002, Rocker showed off his acting chops when he played a homicidal groundskeeper in the horror-comedy film “The Greenskeeper.” Later, in 2006, he competed on the reality television competition show “Pros vs. Joes,” which pits retired professional athletes against amateurs.
Rocker had his most prominent television involvement in 2014, when he competed alongside his girlfriend Julie McGee in the 29th season of the reality television competition series “Survivor,” dubbed “San Juan del Sur – Blood vs. Water.” Ultimately, after drawing negative attention from the other players, he was the third person to be voted off the island, finishing in 16th place. Following an emotional breakdown, his girlfriend McGee quit the game in 12th place.