Madison Bumgarner a boxer? His HS coach thinks it could have happened

Madison Bumgarner a boxer? His HS coach thinks it could have happened

Outside The Box

Madison Bumgarner a boxer? His HS coach thinks it could have happened

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San Francisco pitcher Madison Bumgarner throws during the first inning of Game 5 of the World Series against the Kansas City Royals on Sunday in San Francisco.

San Francisco pitcher Madison Bumgarner throws during the first inning of Game 5 of the World Series against the Kansas City Royals in San Francisco.

Now that David Ortiz’s career is officially over, Madison Bumgarner may be the closest thing to a walking baseball folk legend that we have. The man from Hickory, N.C. legendarily went to school with a horde of cousins, once dated a girl named Madison Bumgarner, and gave his now-wife a cow as a wedding present. Oh, and he rode a horse to the World Series Champions parade in 2014. He’s 6-feet-5 of country strength and gumption, and NLDS Game 3 homer allowed to Jake Arrieta aside, he’s still probably the pitcher most would choose if they had to pick one living pitcher to throw a game for their life (he’s certainly ours).

Most of that confidence in his ability comes from Bumgarner’s unshakeable determination and a competitive streak that runs a mile wide, characteristics that would make him successful in other sports as well. Boxing, for instance.

At least that’s the assessment of Jeff Parham, Bumgarner’s coach at South Caldwell High who spoke with Bay Area sports radio station KNBR.

“He might’ve been a boxer,” Parham said.

“I used to see that same old stare. I remember we played Butler in the fourth round of the state playoffs, and this kid came up to bat running his mouth. I called time and walked out (to the mound) and Madison has that stare…He throws two strikes, then throws one over his head. Then the next pitch he throws on the outside part of the plate. The kid kind’ve backs out and swings. That’s the kind’ve competitor that he is.”

You can hear Parham’s entire interview with KNBR show The Audible directly below.

The leap from throwing over a high school batter’s head to competing as a boxer is a significant one, but given Bumgarner’s size, reach and competitiveness, we’re tempted to give Parham the benefit of the doubt. Also, we’re afraid to tell Bumgarner he couldn’t be a boxer.

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