Randy Mario Poffo
(Randy "Macho Man" Savage)
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 175 lb.
- High School Downers Grove North High School
Professional Baseball Career
Randy Poffo was a two-time All-State catcher at Downers Grove North High School near Chicago, IL. He was the only player signed out of a 200-player open tryout by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1971. He batted .286/~.430/.492 in 35 games for the GCL Cardinals. In 16 games at catcher, he was error-free.
He returned to the GCL Cardinals for the 1972 season and hit .274/~.371/.393 in 52 games, mostly in the outfield. He made the Gulf Coast League All-Star team in the outfield, one of six outfielders chosen; teammate Jerry Mumphrey was also selected and would go on to a fine career. In 1973, Randy hit .344/~.459/.508 in 25 games as a DH for the GCL Red Birds. He also played that year for manager Jimmy Piersall with the Orangeburg Cardinals in the Class-A Western Carolinas League, hitting .250/~.374/.405 in 46 games, again mostly at DH. Poffo credits Piersall and his feisty personality for teaching him how to be aggressive and how to fight. He suffered a severe muscle tear and ligament separation in his throwing arm and was released by the Cardinals. Faced with potential retirement because of the injury, he taught himself to throw left-handed, although it's not clear that he actually used this new skill on the field.
Poffo returned in 1974 with the Cincinnati Reds. He played for the Reds' Florida State League affiliate, the Tampa Tarpons and had a career year in power though his OBP and average fell significantly. He batted .232/~.309/.358 in 131 games, mostly at DH and occasionally in the outfield or first base. He finished third in the league in RBI (66) and tied for fifth in home runs (9), only three less than Eddie Murray hit as a full-time player in the FSL that year. Only Gary Roenicke and Billy Baldwin drove in more runners; Murray trailed Poffo by 3. He was released by the Reds.
Overall, Randy batted .254/~.351/.392 in 289 games. He stole 21 bases and drove in 130 runs in 869 AB.
Professional Wrestling Stardom
Randy's father Angelo was a well-known wrestler in the 1950s and 1960s, who was featured in Ripley's Believe it or Not for his ability to do sit-ups for hours on end. His brother Lanny had a moderately successful career as a wrestler too. Randy first broke into the business in the early 1970s, during the fall and winter of the baseball off-season, and decided to pursue the profession full-time once his baseball career was over. He toiled in wrestling's minor leagues for many years until his big break with the widely popular World Wrestling Federation as "Macho Man" Randy Savage. "Macho Man" wrestled professionally in the WWF, World Championship Wrestling, and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling until 2005 and was one of the best known professional wrestlers in the world for a decade, fighting other superstars of the era such as Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair. He was declared World Champion by various professional wrestling organizations ten times.
He was inducted posthumously into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame in 2015.
Outside of Baseball and Wrestling
Poffo has appeared in many movies and television shows since his professional wrestling career began, many as "Macho Man". Included in these are: Spiderman, The Jeff Foxworthy Show, Mad About You, Dexter's Laboratory, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, and Walker, Texas Ranger. He released a rap album titled "Be A Man" in October, 2003. He died in a car accident in Florida in 2011; initial reports indicated that he had suffered a heart attack which was the cause of the Jeep Wrangler he was driving hitting a tree. His second wife, Lynn Poffo, was in the vehicle when he died; she escaped the crash with only minor injuries.
- Mike Bertha: "WWE Hall of Famer Macho Man Randy Savage played in Minors for Reds, Cardinals", Cut4, mlb.com, January 12, 2015.