Are you sitting down for this?
Four-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion Madison Bumgarner – who just signed a five-year, $85M contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks earlier this winter – is actually a Rodeo champion who operates under the alias Mason Saunders (a shortened version of his first name plus his wife’s maiden name), according to a report in The Athletic late last night.
Like, really really.
The Athletic was the first to break the story, which was later confirmed when they showed him what they found: “Oh boy,” Bumgarner said Sunday when shown the photo. “This is ruining my alias.”
Bumgarner used a fake name to limit the publicity at these events, where he’s a legitimate, serious contender, but apparently, plenty of people around baseball are already aware of Mason Saunders and what he does on his free time, adding that it’s also not really a secret in the roping world, either. But until now, according to Bumgarner, “The media didn’t know.”
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) February 19, 2016
And don’t skate over what I said earlier – Bumgarner isn’t just a participant or someone who likes roping on the side.
According to Rancho Rio’s post, “Jaxson Tucker & Mason Saunders took home the biggest paycheck of the day topping the #12.5 Big Gamble. The duo roped four steers in 31.36 seconds to pocket $26,560 in CASH! Complete results are posted at nationalteamroping.com ….”
I mean … WHAT?!
This is truly one of the goofiest secret reveals in baseball history – right alongside Kyle Schwarber’s hotdog eating world championship. You can read much more about Mason Saunders, Madison Bumgarner and his other victories/roping history at The Athletic.