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A recent New York Times profile of Madison Bumgarner dug deep into his rural upbringing and possible family inbreeding, but one fun fact was buried as a parenthetical aside when it maybe should have been the lead:
In the off-season, Madison lives with his wife, Ali, a few miles away, across Gunpowder Creek on a 140-acre farm in Dudley Shoals. (As a wedding gift, Madison gave Ali a cow.)
Of course, it may not have been a “cow,” per one know-it-all commenter.
According to a reader named Yorkville Kate:
I think you need one more correction. He gave her a bull calf, not a cow, for a wedding gift. Country folk know the difference.
Some other fun facts from the NYT piece:
“Not all the Bumgarners are cousins, but most are,” Kevin said. “It’s not like we’re inbred.” He gave a slantwise smile, looking out of the corner of his eye. “It’s not that bad.”
The piece did feature a nice anecdote from Bum’s old high school coach pretty much explaining everything you need to know about the Giants ace:
“See that?” Parham said, pointing beyond the outfield fence. “Madison hit 10 home runs over that pole and those pine trees.”
He broke into a grin as he talked of that team. “Lots of people don’t like to hear this” — he leaned in as if to tell a delicious secret — “but Madison’s team, we had scuffles at practice. Fights! They were very competitive boys.
“And we had the big boy.”
Parham made a throwing motion. “Ssssss” — he made a sound like a 737 taking off — “pop! Ssssss-pop!”
Once, Bumgarner hit 97 m.p.h. in the seventh inning.
“I said, ‘That all you got?’ ” Parham recalled. “He put on his hat and looks at me and says, ‘No, sir.’ ”
Then he hit 98.
“The fire already was burning in that boy,” Parham said. “All you had to do was throw a little coal on.”
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