Randy Poffo: The baseball career of “The Macho Man” Randy Savage
Before he headlined the professional wrestling world, Randy Poffo aimed to be a professional baseball player. What were his career numbers?
Before we get into the numbers let’s just get it out of the way, “Oooooooh Yeaahhh!”. Randy Poffo, better known as professional wrestler Randy “The Macho Man” Savage, indeed embarked on a baseball career. While Randy never reached the major league level, he had a four-year campaign in the minors.
Born in Columbus, Ohio in 1952 and growing up playing high school/collegiate ball in Illinois, Randy would begin his minor league career at 18 in the Gulf Coast League in Florida in 1971. Beginning his career as a switch-hitting catcher and an outfielder for the GCL (Gulf Coast League) Cardinals, the St. Louis Cardinals organization’s rookie league team.
Poffo’s first year in the minors was actually quite decent. In 35 games played out of the 60 total games the Gulf Coast League plays in a season, Randy posted an OPS of .912 in 81 plate appearances. Hitting .286 with two homers,13 RBIs, and 14 walks, the biggest strength in his game seemed to be in his eye with an impressive .420 OBP.
The following year in 1972 saw more playing time for Randy in the GCL Cardinals lineup, also playing more in the outfield than he did at the catcher position the previous season. The power didn’t progress too much with threes over 52 games, he however still maintained a hitting prowess with a .274 AVG and good plate discipline with 24 walks.
Poffo would play under two different teams in 1973, those same Cardinals under the “Red Birds” moniker for that year, and the Single A affiliate of the Cardinals organization in the Western Carolinas League, the Orangeburg Cardinals. Randy’s performance over the course of the 71 games played between the two leagues produced a solid .283 AVG with a .400 OBP on the dot in 177 ABs.
The Macho Man could ball!
1974 saw a move away from the St. Louis Cardinals organization after three years. Not to the professional wrestling world just yet though, Poffo would join the Cincinnati Reds organization and play for their Single A affiliate, the Tampa Tarpons in the Florida State League.
In 131 games for the team, nearly half of his career games played, Poffo did indeed take a step back in production. Hitting .232 and his OBP dropping to .308, he still managed 46 free passes and 66 RBIs.
Randy Poffo’s success in professional wrestling would take off, and by 1975 would be working the wrestling territories full time in the late 70’s. In time, “The Macho Man” Randy Savage would be a household name known globally for his immense success in the wrestling business. His roots, however, were firmly in the world of baseball. It can be fascinating to wonder had he had another year or two in the minors, Randy Poffo may have gotten his chance and been a household name at the major league level. One can’t help but imagine the ego of a “Macho Man” Randy Savage with a World Series ring on his finger.
One thing is for certain, there will never be another Randy Poffo. Cream of the crop.