January 17, 2013

"The Snake" Can Play Baseball

The link between baseball and professional wrestling has been around for a long, long time.

Consider this.

Before he was "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Randy Poffo was actually an outfielder who spent parts of four seasons in the low minors.  He finished his career with a .254 batting average.

At least four members of the WWE Hall of Fame have ties to baseball.  Three of them (Pete Rose, Bob Uecker and one-time San Diego Padres mascot, the Famous Chicken) are legendary figures in the sport, while a fourth (Curt Hennig) was inducted by Wade Boggs.

Lastly, where would the blogosphere be without the constant updates on the courtship between New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez and former WWE Diva Torrie Wilson?

What follows...well, what follows is another one of those weird connections between the two sports, er, sports entertainment, that I enjoy.

While listening to a recent episode of the "Art of Wrestling" podcast, WWE legend Jake "The Snake" Roberts began telling host Colt Cabana the story of a charity softball game he was part of a quarter-century ago in Montreal.  Naturally, my ears perked up.

Without re-telling the entire story (you can listen to the podcast HERE), let's just say that exactly how you would imagine a softball game between wrestlers and hockey players would play out, did indeed happen.

Roberts, whose battles with drugs and alcohol have been well documented, showed up still showing the effects of the night before.  "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, who used to carry a two-by-four to the ring with him, was using his trademark plank at the plate instead of a baseball bat. 

Fittingly, no one knew the rules.

Except for Roberts, of course.  And why wouldn't he...this is his story to tell.

"The Snake", who claims to have been, at one time, quite the pitcher was playing, as he said, centerfield.  A ball was hit, he ran back "325 feet", fell down as he cut back to make the catch and, fortunately, still caught the long fly while spread out on his posterior.

Of course, this all ended with him being carried off the field like some sort of hero.

Thanks to the internet, we know that that isn't exactly how it played out.

I'll let you check out the visuals below, but, suffice it to say, Roberts might be misjudging the distance he ran.  The catch, however, is still rather impressive.


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