Charles Wallis Haeger
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 200 lb.
- School Madonna University
- High School Catholic Central High School
- Debut May 10, 2006
- FInal Game June 24, 2010
- Born September 19, 1983 in Livonia, MI USA
Knuckleballer Charlie Haeger has pitched some major league games each season starting in 2006 until 2010, when he started the season as part of the Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation. As with most knuckleballers, his outings can be highly unpredictable, with some of them tremendous successes and other flops.
Charlie was signed out of high school by the Chicago White Sox and scouts Ken Stauffer and Nathan Durst in the 25th round of the 2001 amateur draft. He was 0-3, 6.39 for the AZL White Sox that year and 1-4, 4.17 with a team-high six saves the next year. He then retired and did not play in 2003. However, the following year, after developing a knuckleball, he returned to the Sox organization.
In 2004, he worked with the Bristol White Sox (1-6, 5.02) and the Kannapolis Intimidators (1-3, 2.01). He had a quite successful 2005 season, going 8-2 with a 3.20 ERA for the Class A Winston-Salem Warthogs before being promoted to the AA Birmingham Barons, where he posted a 6-3 record and had a 3.78 ERA. Overall, Haeger led the Sox farm system with 14 wins, and he struck out 112 batters in 26 starts.
Haeger began the 2006 season with the AAA Charlotte Knights, where he went 3-0 with an 0.68 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 6 starts. Haeger was promoted to the majors in May to take the spot of the injured Jose Contreras in the White Sox rotation. After one start, he was returned to Charlotte, where he ended the season with a 14-6 record and a 3.07 ERA. In September, the Sox recalled him again, and he went 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA and 1 save out of the team's bullpen. Baseball America rated him the #19 prospect in the International League.
Haeger spent most of 2007 back with Charlotte, where he went 5-16 with a 4.08 ERA. He also appeared in 8 games with the Sox but went 0-1 and posted a 7.15 ERA.
Haeger's brother Greg played in the Detroit Tigers farm system. Charlie also played golf at the same university his brother coaches baseball at, Madonna University. He attended the university during his short retirement in 2003.