Madison Bumgarner’s Life Is A Country Song

Sure, he’s lights out in the postseason, but this Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year story on him is elevating Madison Bumgarner to near mythical levels. So much so, his life reads like a George Jones or Hank Williams Jr. song.

Among the highlights:

One day during spring training this year in Scottsdale, Bumgarner and his wife were roping cattle when Madison was startled by a large snake he figured was a rattler. He quickly grabbed an ax and hacked it to pieces. When Ali, an expert field dresser, examined what was left of the snake, she found two baby jackrabbits inside pieces of it and extracted them. A short while later the Bumgarners noticed that one of the rabbits had moved slightly. It was alive. Ali brought the rabbit back to their apartment and for the next few days kept it warm and bottle-nursed it. The rabbit soon was healthy enough for them to release into the wild.

Wait. He was roping cattle during spring training?

Anyway, going on:

Bumgarner drives onto the rolling property of his father-in-law, about a five-minute drive from his own land. His truck is greeted by a one-eyed dog and a herd of steer in a pen next to the riding arena. Bumgarner was here just the previous day, riding on horseback “from daylight to midnight,” he says, searching for one of the cows that slipped past a fence and wandered off. He never did find it, but it showed up the next morning. “Cows, they don’t like to be alone,” he says.

In the words of Springsteen, “Don’t make no difference what nobody says, ain’t nobody like to be alone.” Even cows.

Oh, and he has a one-eyed dog? Of course he does.

Now, on to horses:

“Let me show you my new horse,” he says, the pride unmistakable in his voice. He talks about the horse exactly the way other people talk about him.

“That’s a bad sumbitch right there,” he says to Tom Little, a friend who works for the agency that represents him. “He’s so much faster and stronger than the other horses.”

“That horse carries some power,” Little says.

“Whatever you think he has,” Bumgarner says, “he has more than that, though. They don’t make ’em like that every day. I tell people I bought a Clayton Kershaw horse.”

“You mean,” Little says, “a Madison Bumgarner horse.”

And the best part of all:

That before he dated Ali, he dated a girl named Madison Bumgarner (“No relation, I’m sure of it”).

In short, he’s a cow-roping, rattlesnake-killing, horse-riding country boy who dates girls with the same name as him.

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