Madison Bumgarner is well-known as a three-time World Series champion and elite postseason pitcher. He’s also known as a regular rodeo participant, albeit under a different name.
After a bit of research, Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan of The Athletic deduced that Bumgarner, now with the Arizona Diamondbacks, participates in various rodeo events under the alias Mason Saunders. Bumgarner even won $26,560 in a team-roping competition last December, and his picture is posted on the venue’s Facebook page.
Bumgarner owned up to the hobby, and admitted that he may have won other events under the alias. The name is derived from a shortened version of his first name and his wife’s maiden name, and he uses it because he does not want to attract outside attention while competing.
And yes, Bumgarner is serious about those competitions.
“No matter what hobbies I have, I take ’em serious,” Bumgarner said. “That’s just my personality. I don’t do anything just for fun, per se. I wish I did.”
The Diamondbacks would not divulge whether Bumgarner’s rodeo habit was a breach of his contractual language. It was not a total secret that he participated, as he’d divulged it in a 2016 interview while with the San Francisco Giants. As long as the pitcher is a little more careful with that hobby than he was with his dirt biking, the Diamondbacks will probably be able to get over it.
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