Photo Courtesy NBCSports.com
We're back here at Capitol Baseball for our first post since the Giants won the World Series. Congrats to them and the City of San Francisco. I promise, it won't be 2 weeks before my next post.
Most of you know the Elijah Dukes story. In 2008, he was the latest kid that then-Nats GM Jim Bowden thought was part of the team's future. He had talent, and a laundry list of personal issues to match. But nevertheless, he was given the opportunity to succeed. He was unable to do so.
He failed in both Tampa Bay and in Washington, but most were shocked at his sudden release by the Nationals in Spring Training 2010. The story doesn't get any prettier from here.
After his release in March, not one of the 29 other teams wanted to pick him up. So he fluttered around for a while before being picked up by the Newark Bears of the Atlantic League on July 1, 2010. Dukes' stint with the team lasted a mere 51 days when he was placed on the Suspended List in August.
On November 2, AOL Fanhouse reported that Dukes was put in jail for not paying child support. It turns out that he owed back payments to the tune of $140,000. To put the icing on this extremely sad cake, it turns out (according to Yardbarker.com) that Elijah doesn't own a home and when the judge asked he said "I live where I lay my head." This former MLB player, as recently as last season, is on the verge of homelessness.
Over the course of his 3 year MLB career, Elijah Dukes made about $1.2 million. That money is all gone, obviously. In the mean time, he hasn't been owning up to his financial responsibilities for his children. So where has the money gone? I imagine we'll never know.
This is just another sad example of a professional athlete being destroyed by the combination of fame, fortune, and pre-existing personal issues. I think I speak for all of Nats Town when I wish Elijah good luck and hope that he can get is young life back on track.