Sunday, September 12, 2010

Randy Poffo, a Tale of a Two Sport Athlete (and Persistence)

I was looking up two sport athletes when I made my post about Pat White a few days ago, and the last guy on the list was a total surprise to me. His name was Randy Poffo, and he looked a little something like this back in High School:
(Image taken from

Poffo took part in a 200 athlete open tryout for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1971, and was the only player from that tryout signed to a contract. Proving the Cardinals right, Poffo raked in the rookie league for the Cardinals as an OF/DH from 1971 to 1973 before his baseball career took a terrible turn. Poffo suffered a major muscle tear and ligament seperation in his right arm. His career seemed all but over, and he was released by the Cardinals.

Against all odds, rather than retire, Poffo taught himself to throw left handed. The Cincinnati Reds showed interest, and he joined their Florida State League team in 1974. In 131 games of A ball, Poffo hit for a low average, but also had 9 HR and 66 RBI, both of which were among the league leaders (for reference, fellow league leader Eddie Murray had 12 HR and 63 RBI in the same league that year).

Poffo had some pop, but with low average and a terrible glove, Cincy released him at the end of the season. He was signed by the White Sox in 1975, but they released him in Spring Training. Sadly, that would be the end of Poffo's once promising baseball career, as he never played another game of organized baseball.

Luckily, Randy Poffo was able to find success in his second career, professional wrestling. Once on the scene for a few years, he dropped the Poffo part and gave himself a new last name for the stage. And that, my friends, is how Randy "Macho Man" Savage was born:

1 comment:

  1. Great post! The Poffo family knows wrestling... I interviewed Lanny Poffo many years ago and the baseball subject came up... I joked that most DHs would probably make good pro wrestlers... Daryl Strawberry and Chili Davis vs. Jason Giambi and Jim Thome in a steel cage... I would watch it!