Characters from the docks include the working Stevedores and their families as well as the criminal organization that controls smuggling through the Baltimore docks.

Sobotka familyEdit

The Sobotka family is a Polish American Baltimore family. The head of the family is Frank, a treasurer for the local union. The Sobotkas are hated by Southeastern District commander Stanislaus Valchek who has a long-standing feud with Frank.

Frank SobotkaEdit

Main article: Frank Sobotka

Frank Sobotka was a respected longshoremen's local union leader who became involved with an organized crime smuggling operation in order to finance a political campaign to sustain the docks.

Joan SobotkaEdit

Joan is Louis' wife and the two live with their grown son, Nick. Joan bemoans her family's drinking habits and tries to encourage Nick to get as much work as possible at the port. She refuses to make breakfast for him if he is not up in time for work. Nick often has his girlfriend Aimee to stay but hides her visits from his parents. Joan is aghast when the police serve warrants and search her home looking for Nick and find drugs and cash.

Louis SobotkaEdit

Louis is Frank Sobotka's elder brother and Nick's father. Louis was forced to retire early from his trade as a shipwright. He spends his days hypothetically gambling on horses (he never places any money on his bets) and drinking at Delores' bar. He refuses to get involved in the family's smuggling operation. When a warrant is put on Nick for his drug involvement Louis convinces him to turn himself in.

Nick SobotkaEdit

Main article: Nick Sobotka

Louis and Joan's son and Frank's nephew, Nick is a well-liked young Stevedore with extensive family connections to the Baltimore port and links to the criminal underworld.

Ziggy SobotkaEdit

Main article: Ziggy Sobotka

Ziggy is Frank's son, an impulsive and often reckless young checker, loosely based on Pinkie Bannion, a real life docker in the Baltimore area, at the docks with a desire to prove himself and a respected father to live up to.

Dock workersEdit

The dock workers are all members of the Baltimore Union of the International Brotherhood of Stevedores. They are also hated by Southeastern District commander Stan Valchek who views them as nothing more than dishonorable thieves stealing anything that comes into the port.

Nat CoxsonEdit

  • Played by: Luray Cooper
  • Appears in:

Season 2: "Ebb Tide"; "Collateral Damage"; "Hot Shots"; "Undertow"; "All Prologue"; "Backwash"; "Stray Rounds"; "Storm Warnings"; and "Port in a Storm".

Season 5: "A Dickensian Aspect"

Vernon "Ott" MotleyEdit

Moustached older African-American stevedore often seen drinking in Delores' bar. Ott was arrested on a DWI charge as part of Major Valchek's vendetta against the union. He was released on bail later the same day. Frank's response was to have Horseface steal a surveillance van from Valchek's district parking lot; Ott helped to load the van into a container to be shipped around the country.

Ott was set to take over from Frank as treasurer when the next election came around, per the Stevedores' arrangement that the position swap between a Polish and African-American after each term. Ott was supported by his friend Nat Coxson, president of another local union. Ott realized that Frank planned to run again and was angry that he was not honoring the agreement. When Frank was murdered, Ott withdrew his candidacy as a show of unity against the federal government's attempt to break up the union.

Little Big RoyEdit

  • Played by: Richard Pelzman
  • Appears in:

Season 2: "Ebb Tide"; "Backwash" (uncredited); "Duck and Cover"; "Bad Dreams" and "Port in a Storm" (uncredited).

Season 5: "A Dickensian Aspect"


Main article: Horseface

Johnny "Fifty" SpamantoEdit

Main article: Johnny Spamanto

Big RoyEdit

Big Roy is a ponytailed white stevedore who is much smaller than his colleague Little Big Roy. Big Roy was part of the crowd of Stevedores that witnessed their murdered union leader Frank Sobotka being pulled from the docks.


Chess is a large, senior, African-American stevedore who is often seen drinking at Delores' bar. He questions Frank Sobotka about the source of his political capital at a union meeting.

La LaEdit

Bald African-American stevedore from Frank Sobotka's union. La La has little seniority amongst union men and therefore struggles to find work. When Frank got into a feud with Southeastern police district commander Major Valchek, La La was arrested on a DWI stop when leaving Delores' bar along with several other union members. He is a friend of Nick Sobotka and accompanied him to try to talk a drug dealer called "Cheese" into giving back his friend and Nick's cousin Ziggy's car.


Maui is a checker from Frank Sobotka's union who had a relationship with Officer Beadie Russell. Beadie reconnected with Maui to get information about smuggling from the docks; he refused to inform on his fellow union men but told her to check the port's computer system for information. Maui dislikes Ziggy Sobotka, playing various tricks on him, culminating with Maui humiliating Ziggy by forcing him on top of a container and stranding him there.

The GreeksEdit

Main article: The Greeks

The Greeks are an international smuggling and organized crime organization with several Eastern European members in Baltimore operating out of a rundown cafe.



Aimee is Nick Sobotka's girlfriend and the mother of his daughter, Ashley. Aimee could not stay overnight at Nick's home because he still lived with his parents. Aimee hopes to get a place for her young family to share and encourages Nick to go house hunting with her despite his lack of income from his dock work. She is shocked when she discovers a bundle of cash in his basement room, but he explains it by telling her that it comes from a new warehouse manager position. Aimee was at Nick's home when the police raided it and found a stash of heroin. She accepted his misdeeds and went into protective custody with him; the two finally sharing a home for a night.


Delores is the owner of the bar frequented by the Stevedores. She has a great respect for union leader Frank Sobotka and holds cash to be handed to workers in his union who are struggling for money on his behalf. She has an uneasy friendship with Ziggy Sobotka because he is constantly exposing his genitalia in her bar.

Bruce DiBiagoEdit

DiBiago is Frank Sobotka's lobbyist with heavy political contacts. His great-grandfather was a knife sharpener in Baltimore. His eldest son, Jason, attends Princeton University.

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