As I'm sure a lot people were, I was a huge fan of The "Macho Man" Randy Savage, the pro wrestler, growing up as a kid, especially during his time in WCW. Even when the umm...sport? reached new lows in the late 90s, Savage made it entertaining with his larger than live personality and his outlandish Slim Jim commercials. Unfortunately as many of you have probably already heard, Savage passed away this morning at the age of 58 after crashing his vehicle into a tree following a heart attack.
So where does this all fit in? In his past life, well before the squared circle, Savage (real name Randy Poffo) was a baseball player with dreams of making it to the big leagues. While he never quite got there, he sure did get close.
In 1971, at the ripe age of 18 Poffo made his debut as an outfielder with the Gulf Coast League Cardinals (the Rookie League affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals). In 63 at-bats Poffo hit .286 with two home runs. The Macho Man returned to the GCL Cardinals for a second go around in 1972 and put up similar numbers. In 168 at-bats Poffo hit .274 with four home runs and even flashed a little speed with four stolen bases which matched his career-high.
His best season in affiliated ball by far came in 1973 when he tore up Rookie level pitching with the GCL Red Birds by hitting .344 in 61 at-bats before getting called up to Single-A for the first time as a 20 year-old. I'm sure his reaction was something along the lines of "Ohhh....Yeah!".
Unfortunately, Poffo's production dropped off upon being promoted to the Orangeburg Cardinals and was cut loose by the team.
In 1974, Poffo latched onto the Tampa Tarpons, the Rookie league affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. However, he struggled hitting just .232 before hanging up his cleats and ultimately leaving the game. The rest...well the rest is history. Who would have thought that a little known minor leaguer would go on one day to headline sold-out arenas alongside the likes of Hulk Hogan and Sting?
Those wishing to share thoughts with Randy's family can send a message to the following email address: InMemoryOfRandy@gmail.com