Have I Seen A Guy Quit Mid-Game Like Vontae Davis? Actually, I Have…Remember Bob Hamelin?


I was an intern for the Toledo Mud Hens the night former American League Rookie of the Year Bob Hamelin grounded out, touched first base, veered off to the right and instantly into retirement. Right in the middle of a game. That was it. He was done and drove off into the sunset. I remember it very well because those five or so people in the Ned Skeldon press box wondered where Hamelin was going when he veered off to the right after grounding out. There was a fence gate players had to go through to get to the clubhouse. That’s where Hamelin headed. Yep, he just kept going to the clubhouse — it was an absolutely horrid clubhouse by the way — and to his truck.
That’s why I wasn’t completely shocked by Vontae Davis retiring at halftime of Sunday’s Chargers-Bills game. Sure, it’s something you rarely if ever hear about, but then again he was out there getting absolutely shredded by the Chargers and it’s 2018. We have guys thinking quite a bit about the rest of their lives and for Davis it hit while his team was down 28-6. I totally get it that Davis started the game and could’ve legged it out in the second half and rode off into the sunset.
Ever have one of those moments where you finally hit the breaking point and it sends you over the top? I picture that for Davis. He’s figuring the pension is locked up (10-year vet), he probably has a little bit saved up and it’s time to find a new career in time for pumpkin spice season with his Megan, who lists ‘lawyer’ on her IG bio. Something tells me these two are going to be just fine.
Let’s go back to that night Bob Hamelin walked away…via the LA Times:

On a warm spring night in Toledo, Ohio, while playing baseball for a team called the Mud Hens, Hamelin, the 1994 American League rookie of the year for the Kansas City Royals, hit an infield groundout, jogged off the field, kicked a bat and told his manager, Gene Roof, “I’m done.”
The manager asked, “For the game?” and Hamelin answered, “No, for good,” and walked into the clubhouse for the last time.

“I was getting pretty miserable,” he says. “I’m living in an apartment in Toledo and I’m starting to realize that even if I got called up to the majors again, would that make me happy? I just didn’t think so. So I quit.
“I don’t hang my head down. I’m happy with how things went overall. I had a lot of fun, made a lot of great friends. But I put together some good years.”

Of course hardly anyone cared that Hamelin quit in the middle of a game. The fans were there for a t-shirt or a pic with the mascot. Davis quitting is going to create a couple headlines this week as his teammates grill his ass for quitting on them.
And Vontae might as well not read his mentions for several years until people forget about him like they’ve forgotten about Bob Hamelin.

By the way, Bob Hamelin is still alive:

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