Scott Erickson: Baseball Player

updated 05/08/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/08/2000 01:00AM

PITCHERS AREN'T KNOWN AS HEAVY HITTERS, BUT WITH HIS broad shoulders, mop of mahogany hair and night-game smile, Scott Erickson, 32, scores a homer whenever he's on the roster at Baltimore's Camden Yards. "The women think he's really handsome, and the guys think he's one of them, so everybody kind of gets turned on," says rocker Joan Jett, a diehard Orioles fan. Adds Oriole second baseman Jerry Hairston: "Away from the park, I've seen women ask him to marry them on the spot." Retired slugger Chili Davis, a pal from Erickson's five-year stint with the Minnesota Twins, which ended when he joined the Orioles in 1995, confirms, "Scott was an item in Minnesota too." Although he loves to play the field, Erickson, who has a five-year, $32 million contract, is cautious about commitment. "I've never been married," he says. "Never been engaged. And we travel so much during the season, I wouldn't have enough time to spend with someone." The reticence is nothing new. "I was voted shiest in my junior high class," says the 6'4" Erickson, the older of two sons raised in Sunnyvale, Calif., by Don, 59, a lawyer, and Stephanie, 56, a systems analyst (They divorced in 1980.) On days he's pitching, teammates call Erickson Dr. Death because he doesn't speak, escapes into head-banging tracks by Guns N' Roses and MÖtley Crüe and wears all black. "It used to be for luck," he says. "But now it's my favorite color." Another superstition is responsible for his sexy stubble; Erickson shaves only after he pitches—about every five days. The basic soap-and-water groomer shuns sunscreen while on the mound—"When you sweat it runs into your eyes and stings, which isn't good when you've got a ball coming at you"—and only one thing bugs him about his looks. From wearing his Orioles cap every day, "I get hat hair," he says. His fix: "I take a shower and hang my head out the car window."

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