When I first read the news that John Kruk lived with a bank robber during his playing days, I just assumed it was Mitch Williams. It somehow seemed fitting.
Turns out, this happened in 1987, while Kruk was with the Padres, and it was some dude named Roy Plummer, a high school acquaintance. So other than possibly stealing loot from banks patronized by Kruk’s teammates, Plummer had absolutely nothing to do with professional baseball.
Despite the large sums of money lying around the house, and Plummer having no visible means of employment, Kruk didn’t recognize the possibility that his new roomie might be up to no good.
From the CHARLESTON GAZETTE:
“The thing that was surprising to me, where I should have picked up on something, was that he never let me pay for anything. He always had cash,” Kruk said. “We’d go out to dinner and drink a bottle of wine, some beers, food, appetizers, desserts. And I’d ask, ‘How much is it?’ He’d say, ‘I got it, don’t worry about it.’”
Eventually, it dawned on Kruk that it was probably in his best career interests to find his own digs.
“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.
Unfortunately, Plummer assumed Kruk had ratted him out, and the Padres slugger admitted to living in fear until the FBI would arrest Plummer in September 1988. A few months later, Plummer called from prison to apologize for the whole sordid mess, and a few months after that, Kruk learned that Plummer had committed suicide.
This is certainly not representative of the average major leaguer’s existence, but it’s still much less bizarre than a typical day in the life of Alex Rodriguez, I’d think.