R.I.P. Macho Man Randy Savage: Death of a Wrestler and Baseball Player
Friday May 20, 2011
MLB reports: Here on the reports we try to keep you, the baseball fan, up to date on all the latest news, reports and analysis from around the baseball universe. Usually on Fridays you will find our weekly Friday Faceoff segment, where two players go head to head in a statistical matchup to determine the weekly victor. This week’s segment has taken a back to seat to the news today that former WWE wrestler “Macho Man” Randy Savage has passed at the age of 58. We will go into the story as available to us from TMZ on Randy’s passing for the update. You will also learn the reason behind this segment, as besides being a world champion wrestler, Randy Savage aka Randy Poffo, was a baseball player in his day. You will not often find a wrestling article on the MLB reports, but baseball and wrestling is not a combination that is found every day.
A car accident claimed the life of Randy Savage today in Tampa, Florida. Driving in his 2009 Jeep Wrangler, Savage apparently lost control of the jeep and struck a tree in a single-car accident. According to Savage’s brother, Lanny Poffo, the Macho Man had a heart attack while behind the wheel of his vehicle. A second generation wrestler, with famed wrestler Angelo Poffo as his father, Savage’s brother Lanny Poffo was a wrestler as well under the stage names “Leaping Lanny Poffo” and “The Genius”.
A little known fact about the now deceased Randy Savage was that prior to becoming a wrestler, he actually was a baseball player! A switch-hitter, Savage was born Randy Poffo before changing his name as part of his wrestling persona. Randy Poffo was drafted and came up with the Cardinals organization in 1971 after playing college ball with Southern Illinois University. Poffo played as well in the Reds and White Sox organizations prior to retiring from baseball in 1974. An outfielder, an injured right shoulder and a weak offensive bat was the end of Poffo’s baseball career. A career .232 hitter in parts of four minor league seasons, Poffo also had 16 career home runs. Imagine if Poffo the baseball player had stayed healthy and gone on to the major leagues. The Macho Man might have never come to be. But baseball did not prove to be in the cards and Poffo ended up discovering that in life, as one door closes, another one opens. Poffo/Savage started wrestling in 1973 during the baseball offseason and upon retirement, went on to become a wrestler full time-until retiring from the ring in 2005.
Randy Savage/Poffo is survived by his wife Lynn, whom he married just over a year ago on May 10, 2010. The Macho Man will forever be remembered for his wrestling exploits and “heel” image as a championship caliber wrestler. But before he was dropping elbows from the top rope and selling slim jims, let’s remember today as well Randy Poffo: the baseball player. Very few athletes are known to have made the transition from the diamond to the squared circle and Randy Poffo/Savage was one of them. You can find Randy Poffo’s lifetime baseball statistics courtesy of baseball reference by clicking here. As an 80’s and 90’s wrestling legend, Randy Savage was taken from this world much too soon. It was a pleasure watching him grapple as a youngster and for those who admired and worshipped the Macho Man, always remember that your hero got his sports entertainment start playing America’s favorite pastime and the greatest sport in the world: baseball.
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