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Blog Entry

'Macho Man' Randy Savage, former ballplayer, dies

Posted on: May 20, 2011 2:13 pm
Edited on: May 20, 2011 4:06 pm
 


By Evan Brunell

SavageRandy Poffo, more commonly known as "Macho Man" Randy Savage of wrestling fame, passed away Friday.

TMZ was the first to report, saying that Poffo suffered a heart attack around 9:25 a.m. while driving, causing his Jeep Wrangler to cross a concrete median, through opposing traffic and collided with a tree head-on. He was transported to a hospital, where he died from injuries. His wife of one year, Lynn, was also in the car but came away with only minor injuries. Both were wearing seatbelts and alcohol was not a factor.

It's a tragedy that will strike hard at the hearts of wrestling fans everywhere. While I no longer follow professional wrestling, I was a fanatic as a child (The Boston Globe's Peter Abraham wrote a nice anecdote of meeting Savage back in 2005) and "Randy Savage" was captivating in his shtick, which landed him a sponsorship role with Slim Jim. He was an outlandish character who wore flashy and colorful garb and is widely considered by many to be the best Intercontinental champion of all time and served in elevating the title to a significant role rather than being known as the lesser title to the World Championship and was also known for his signature phrase, "Ohhhh yeahhh!"

But before he went onto wrestling fame, Poffo was a minor-league baseball player, entering the Cardinals system at age 18. Poffo was a Cardinals fan growing up and remained one his entire life Records are sketchy, but we know he batted .286 with a .492 slugging percentage in 63 at-bats for rookie ball in 1971. He would repeat the level in 1972 and 1973, before earning a promotion to Class A before washing out of the organization. He joined the Reds' system for 1974, hitting .232/.304/.358 in 521 plate appearances for Class A Tampa, cranking nine home runs before hanging them up for good.

Wrestlers have taken to Twitter to express their dismay over Poffo's death, including longtime friend Kevin Nash (otherwise known as Diesel) and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

"I'm completely devastated, after over 10 years of not talking with Randy, we've finally started to talk and communicate," Hulk Hogan tweeted Friday morning. "He had so much life in his eyes [and] in his spirit, I just pray that he's happy and in a better place and we miss him."

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Photo courtesy uproxx.com, showing Poffo in his heyday.



Category: MLB
Tags: Cardinals, MLB, Reds
 
Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 10, 2011 10:56 am
 

'Macho Man' Randy Savage, former ballplayer, dies

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Since: Nov 11, 2008
Posted on: May 21, 2011 11:34 am
 

'Macho Man' Randy Savage, former ballplayer, dies

Thanks for posting this article on a former pro wrestler that had minor league baseball experience.  Randy Savage was the 1st pro wrestler that I appreciated & respected.  He was the main reason why I started to watch pro wrestling back in 1989.  Savage made pro wrestling fun for me as a kid growing up in the 1990s.  History beckons the Macho Man.  R.I.P. Randy Savage.



Since: Nov 13, 2009
Posted on: May 21, 2011 1:57 am
 

'Macho Man' Randy Savage, former ballplayer, dies

From his entrance theme, to his charismatic persona and infamous flying elbows, Randy "Macho Man" Savage was a rare wrestling talent.  My fond memories of Savage includes his epic Wrestlemania 3 match against Ricky Steamboat, his brief tag team alliance with Hulk Hogan as "The Mega Powers", winning the WWF Championship belt against Ted DiBiase in the main event at Wrestlemania 4, and his time in WCW. Randy Poffo, you'll be sorely missed.  RIP, Macho Man.  Thanks for the memories.    



Since: Dec 1, 2010
Posted on: May 21, 2011 12:52 am
 

'Macho Man' Randy Savage, former ballplayer, dies

Savage also never threw wrestlers under the bus through cowardly autobiographies like Ric Flair's. My respect level for Ric Flair became lower than snakecrap. Flair's biography came out in 2004 when he was riding the coattails of that whole HHH, Batista Evolution clique. Flair threw every non WWE employee including Savage under the bus and sucked up to the current WWE stars. Flair claimed Savage was not a major player after Elizabeth stopped appearing with him. Savage's last major feud before leaving the mainstream limelight was in 1999 when he had that stupid PPV match with Dennis Rodman. In closing, Savage took the high road and didn't personally throw anyone under the bus despite being wronged by the likes of Hogan and Flair with their backstage politics particularly in WCW. 



Since: Dec 1, 2010
Posted on: May 21, 2011 12:42 am
 

'Macho Man' Randy Savage, former ballplayer, dies

Unfortunately, the next famous pro wrestler we will be discussing in this light is Scott Hall. Unlike Savage, Scott's issues have been self inflicted and has turned away umpteen opportunities for recovery. Savage had a type A personality much like myself which I appreciated. You could tell he was a perfectionist and took pride in his performances. Some negative cowards like Ric Flair criticized Savage for practicing the WM match with Steamboat in advance. Regardless, that match was the first time the Intercontinental Belt really became a prestigious belt. I do stand by the fact that Hogan and his backstage politics undermined Savage from being even greater than he was. He blew Bret Hart away. Hart had comparable in ring skills wise but Savage blew Hart away on the mic. I put Savage as a Top 5 Wrestling Great of the last 30 years for influence and longevity. 



Since: Dec 1, 2010
Posted on: May 21, 2011 12:29 am
 

'Macho Man' Randy Savage, former ballplayer, dies

I apologize to the poster or anyone else that took offense to me adding my two cents about the steroid and painkiller abuse in pro wrestling. One of my favorites was Rick Rude who died a generation younger than Savage at age 40 from years of roids and killers. The timing of this is terrible. Between giving up the hair dye and settling down last year with another marriage, Savage seemed to of found peace and happiness in his life. He seemed to of given up his "wrestling persona" and finally was ready to spend his retirement years in normalcy and happiness. 

 



Since: Mar 12, 2009
Posted on: May 21, 2011 12:20 am
 

'Macho Man' Randy Savage, former ballplayer, dies

Flair and that bunch had been at it for a while but wrestling was still mostly wedged in between some cartoons on Saturday morning. Hogan came along, Andre was big, and Randy Savage was in that mix too that elevated it to prime time and huge cable.



Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: May 20, 2011 11:37 pm
 

'Macho Man' Randy Savage, former ballplayer, dies

First of all RIP Randy Poffo.

Randy "Macho Man" Savage was an icon in the WWF(now WWE) and later in WCW. He was a muscular, athletic and agile wrestler who could play the heel as well as the face. He was well-respected by the top wrestlers(Bret Hart wrote very favorably about him in his book) and always was entertaining. Savage also did well in commercials and even had a role in Spiderman as the wrestler Peter Parker takes on as his Spiderman persona.

Randy Poffo also played 4 years of minor league ball in the Cardinals chian in the early 70's. He was a huge baseball fan of those same Cardinals his entire life. That's what makes this a more legitimate sports story for this site to cover.

Having watched pro wrestling since the late 70's, Savage along with Bret Hart and the Undertaker were always my favorites. They all combined technical skills with showmanship. Wrestling may be staged and  the results pre-arranged, but it's real in the sense these guys battle and get hurt. They wrestle 300 days a year and it takes it toll. They become addicted to pain killers and steroids were abused especially in the 80's. Many have died from heart attacks caused by enlarged hearts due to those drugs.

Thanks Randy for all the memories.  You may be gone, but you'll never be forgotten. Oh Yeahhhhhhh!




Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: May 20, 2011 10:48 pm
 

'Macho Man' Randy Savage, former ballplayer, dies

I've actually been rather surprised at the actual outpouring of support and condolences for Randy Savage's passing.  Most people perpetually take the low road and make crude jokes about professional wrestlers when they pass.  Don't get me wrong, the CBS Sports forums are a completely different animal, and I'll fully expect the sophomore rush to make their voices heard.  Randy Savage was one of my favorite wrestlers as a kid and gave me a lot of great memories.  I remember jumping off of chairs in my house and giving my younger brothers flying elbow drops.  I might have to give one to my son tonight in rememberance.  RIP Macho Man....
It's because Randy Savage wasn't like most other wrestlers who passed recently.  While he probably took some steroids later in life to keep up with the young bucks, but it was well documented that Randy was a style wrestler at heart and learned a great deal from his dad and always followed the rules.  During the Roid Rage era of the late 80s and early 90s, you could tell Randy Savage was not one of them like Warrior and Hogan.  He still had great athleticism and could last hours in a match.  Randy Savage was great inside the ring and out.  You heard nothing today, but great stories about what kind a guy he was outside the ring and that people respected him.  RIP Macho Man. 




OneKnee=TwoFeet
Since: May 12, 2011
Posted on: May 20, 2011 10:16 pm
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