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John Rocker, retired MLB pitcher, to join new 'Survivor' cast

John Rocker pumps his fist after striking out

John Rocker pumps his fist after striking out Scott Brosius and getting the save on Sunday, June 10, 2001. Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

Former Major League Baseball player John Rocker, who did not endear himself to New Yorkers with his incendiary remarks about gays, immigrants and others, is among the cast of "Survivor: San Juan del Sur -- Blood vs. Water," the upcoming 29th edition of the CBS reality show.

Rocker, 39, is teamed with his girlfriend, model and spray-tan business-owner Julie McGee, 34.

As a pitcher for the Atlanta Braves and three other teams from 1998 through 2003, he gained widespread notoriety after a 1999 Sports Illustrated interview in which he said that he would never play for a New York team.

He observed that taking the 7 train to Shea Stadium was "like riding through Beirut next to some kid with purple hair, next to some queer with AIDS, right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time, right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids." He also lamented, "The biggest thing I don't like about New York are the foreigners. I'm not a very big fan of foreigners."

Rocker ended his career in 2005 after a short stint with the independent-league Long Island Ducks.

Also among the 18 competitors are Broadway performer and aerialist Reed Kelly, 31, whose credits include "Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark," "The Addams Family" and "Wicked." He is paired with his boyfriend, singer-actor Josh Canfield, 32.

"Survivor" returns with a 90-minute premiere on Sept. 24.

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