I'm going to be honest: I was a serious pro wrestling fan before I was a serious baseball fan. I knew about kayfabe and marking out before I knew about OPS and runs created. So I'm afraid I was sadder as a fan of the Macho Man Randy Savage than of triples-hitting undrafted outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals Randy Poffo when I heard that Poffo/Savage died Friday, when he lost control of his car following a heart attack.â†µ
Savage was one of the strangest, most iconoclastic figures in the golden age of cartoonish, wonderful pro wrestling—never quite a heel or a face, sometimes completely incoherently hilarious and compelling on the microphone, and much more skilled on the mat than the average 80s-WWF-superstar, as evidenced in the oft-anthologized match against Ricky Steamboat.
He was also an outfielder who appears to have hit a lot of triples and not done much else in the Gulf Coast League. When you're an outstanding professional wrestler, your pro baseball career is a little like the story of the talking dog—that you did it at all is the most impressive thing.â†µ
So here's to Randy Savage—great pro wrestler, professional baseball player. He'll be missed, even though I hated those Slim Jim commercials.â†µ