Knoblauch: 'I'm sorry for what happened'

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by By Michelle Homer and Rucks Russell / 11 News

khou.com

Posted on September 29, 2009 at 11:59 AM

Updated Monday, Oct 26 at 6:31 PM

HOUSTON -- Former Major League Baseball player and Bellaire standout Chuck Knoblauch was in a Houston courtroom Tuesday morning on a family violence charge.

He posted a $10,000 bond late Tuesday afternoon and said very little as he walked out of jail.

"I'm sorry for what happened," Chuck Knoblauch said. "I'm sorry for my actions."

Chuck Knoblauch in court
Raw: Chuck Knoblauch in court
September 29, 2009

Knoblauch is accused of striking and choking his common-law wife last week at their home.

Stacey Stelmach told police they had an argument and she tried to take his car keys away because she thought he was drunk, according to prosecutor Kari Allen.

"In her words, he was intoxicated. They had a struggle over the keys, during which he apparently punched and choked her," said Memorial Villages Police Lt. Bill Sala.

Investigators say Knoblauch fled the scene in his car, and that a family friend called 911.?

Knoblauch turned himself into authorities Tuesday morning. He was charged with felony domestic violence.

His attorney said it was a domestic dispute, and he didn't think it warranted criminal charges.

"It's a disagreement between he and his wife. They're going through a divorce," said Dan Cogdell, Knoblauch's attorney. "It's a rough time for both of them and we hope to get this behind us as quickly as we can."

During Tuesday's court appearance, the judge granted a motion for protective order, which means Knoblauch can't have any contact with Stelmach.

Knoblauch's neighbor Jacqueline Smooke calls the charges unbelievable.

"He's a very nice guy.? We've become kind of friendly with him and we're so shocked that something like this would happen," Smooke said.

Knoblauch is a Houston native who was a star player at Bellaire High School, where he played for his dad, Ray.

Knoblauch played college baseball at Texas A&M University before joining the Minnesota Twins.

He was named American League Rookie of the Year and won a World Series ring in 1991. He won the Gold Glove Award in 1997 and was a four-time All-Star.

Knoblauch was traded to the Yankees in 1997, and his storied career quickly went south. He made a series of throwing errors, including one ball that went into the stands and hit sportscaster Keith Olbermann's mother in the face. Joe Torre moved him from second base to the outfield.

Knoblauch later joined the Royals as a free agent, but played in just 80 games before retiring in 2003.

Knoblauch is listed in the Mitchell Report as one of the ballplayers who used performance-enhancing drugs provided by Brian McNamee. He testified before the House Committee investigating steroids in February of 2008.

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