Some of the best baseball players in the world love hunting as much as we do. Do you know who they are?
Fall begins to approach and the nights become cooler, sending out imagination's into a frenzy. Thoughts and dreams start to run wild, as hunting seasons approach. A secondary thought that always creeps into to my mind with dropping temps as well is postseason baseball! God bless America, hunting and baseball, does it get any better than that?
But what's the correlation between hunting and baseball, and why would I be mentioning these great American pastimes in the same breath? Sure, people highly anticipate the opening day of both every year. But there's more! Just like you and me, there are some baseball players who love to hunt once that cool weather starts setting in. Unlike many other professional sports, the baseball season ends and the offseason begins just in time to start chasing game in the primetime months.
Here are 10 Major League Baseball players, both former and current, who love to hunt! Some you may already know to be hunters, while others might surprise you.
One thing is certain, though, no matter what teams these guys play for, the simple fact they enjoy the outdoors as much as I do makes me appreciate them.
No surprise here! If you follow outdoor television or follow certain outdoor companies on social media, there's a good chance you've come across Chipper Jones donning camouflage instead of that legendary Atlanta Braves No. 10 jersey.
Jones is one of the hosts of Major League Bowhunter these days, chasing whitetail deer all over the country. After a stellar career--which he's now officially sealed as a Hall of Famer--the 8-time All-Star now spends a lot of his free time in the woods. After 15 years of manning third base for the Braves and adding records, All-Star appearances and even an MVP award to his resume, the greatest switch hitter of all time now prefers a treestand.
He's usually somewhere down south, as Chipper's favorite place to hunt is in the brush country of Texas.
Kyle Schwarber has been a highly touted baseball prospect for some time, and recently has burst onto the MLB scene with the Chicago Cubs here in the last few seasons. Since Schwarber played catcher for the Indiana Hoosiers in college, I actually got to watch him play when they visited my alma mater for a weekend series.
I began to follow him from that day on as he was deemed a future star, expected to make it to the big leagues. And what do you know, the scouts were right and before long he was mashing long balls with the Cubs. I eventually learned that he also loved hunting and spent a lot of his time in the woods in the offseason. It's hard not to like him even if he does wear that dreaded Cubs jersey!
Now a staple in the Chicago Cubs lineup and already a World Series champion, Schwarber still makes it a focus to hunt in the offseason and actually appeared on an episode of "Fear No Evil" on the Outdoor Channel.
The big and burly left-handed hurler for the San Francisco Giants has ice in his veins, pitching in some of the biggest baseball games a player could ever imagine. His postseason pitching stats are mind-boggling and put him up with the all-time best. And, he has two World Series titles under his belt as well as a World Series MVP to round out his resume.
He is really, really good at throwing a baseball, we all know that. But what you might not know about is his outdoor and country roots. Bumgarner keeps to himself and you won't find him in the media very often. But, from the little he has shown, it's easy to tell where his heart is.
Carharrt even swept him up as an ambassador, and you might even see some other hunting companies attempt do the same. But then again, MadBum likes to keep to himself, so we'll see.
Adam Wainwright, like Bumgarner has pitched in some huge postseason games. Helping the St.Louis Cardinals capture a few World Series titles in his tenure, Waino has definitely made a name for himself. When he isn't pitching, there's a good chance you can find him in the woods.
When Wainwright found himself on the disabled list and missing baseball games because of an elbow injury, he wisely used that time to get a few hunts in.
He's a very avid deer hunter with some monster bucks to show for it. Wainwright has even been on outdoor television while hunting with the Drury clan, who are die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fans.
How can you not hunt with a name like that? I mean he's destined to like the woods, right? Hunter Strickland has been throwing heaters in the majors for a few years now. He took on the closer role with the Giants in 2018 and was having an outstanding year until it was abruptly shortened by an injury.
You might best know Strickland for his boxing match on the mound with MLB superstar Bryce Harper. What you might not know, is that not only does he sling pitches and fists, but he also likes to sling arrows and bullets.
Strickland is an avid hunter and the co-founder and CEO of a waterfowl hunting clothing company. When he's not in the weight room or on the mound, chances are you'll catch him in the marshes hunting ducks.
Another former Major League Baseball player who's deeply intertwined with the outdoor industry. A mainstay on the Buck Commander series, LaRoche balanced hunting, family and baseball for many years.
After a long and productive career of being an everyday first baseman with multiple clubs, the hard-swinging lefty has a lot more time to focus on deer hunting now that he's retired.
His passion and big red beard are hard to miss on some of the content they produce. LaRoche has harvested many giant whitetails on film, and it's safe to say he's just as talented of a hunter as he was a baseball player.
When you think of big dudes and long home runs, Hall of Famer Jim Thome's name certainly comes to mind. With 612 career home runs, Thome was no stranger to hitting the long ball. In fact, the left-handed slugger finds himself in the eight spot on the all-time home run list.
While you used to find him on the infield of Major League games, you now can find him in the woods most likely. Thome has always had a rich passion for the outdoors and hunting.
He actually went toe-to-toe with an absolute monster of a whitetail on Drury Outdoors as he harvested a 193-inch stud of a buck on film with a bow! And, it was probably one of the most beautiful typical bucks you'll ever set your eyes on. How fitting is it for a Hall of Fame player to take a Hall of Fame buck?
This might be the biggest shock of all on this list. The Los Angeles Angels generational talent Mike Trout is putting together one of the most impressive starts to a career in the rich history of baseball. The guy is passing legends everyday in statistical categories and he isn't even 28 years old yet. Let that statement sink in for a minute. By the end of his career, health permitting, Trout may go down as the best who's ever done it.
But Trout is a very to-himself superstar. You don't see much about him in the media outside of what he does on the baseball field. But the New Jersey boy loves to hunt and has since he was a 10-year-old kid.
He's hunted everything in New Jersey, including deer, duck, rabbit and pheasant. Now he likes to spend most of his hunting time in Missouri and Iowa. There have even been reports that Trout has been on a hunting trip with NFL star quarterback Carson Wentz. I would love to be a fly on the wall for that hunt.
When you thought you couldn't love Mike Trout anymore, you go and find out he's an avid hunter. Is this real life?
Bo knows! Bo knows just how great hunting his, and he's proud of it. One of the most prolific and gifted athletes of all time, Jackson dominated in both baseball and football, and is the only player to be an all-star in both professional leagues.
With some of the most impressive highlights you'll lay eyes on, Jackson used to roam the outfield with great agility back in the day. Nowadays, the only fields that Bo is roaming are the fields of nature as he chases wild game.
Beyond hunting, Bo simply loves the sport of archery. Bo has built a man cave where he spends countless hours putting together arrows and working on his trade. So, the slogan that became so popular in the prime of his baseball career also applies to his love bowhunting. Bo knows bowhunting!
Last but not least is the clutch, left-handed pitcher who's still playing in the majors. Jon Lester is still an effective starting pitcher for the Chicago Cubs after putting together a impressive 12-year career thus far. Within that career, Lester has made five all-star teams, won three World Series titles and even recorded a no-hitter.
The game of baseball has been good to Lester, who's an absolute warrior when he steps onto the field. Lester takes that mentality to all he does, and one of his biggest hobbies is hunting.
Lester has hinted at the similarities between his approach to pitching and his approach to shooting a bow. Both activities take a ton of mental focus, practice and preparation if you want to consistently be successful.
Hunting is a huge part of Lester's life and he even made it a point of importance to have an antlered chandelier in the living room of his home.
It Doesn't End There...
Be sure to look around for more hunters in the MLB. You wouldn't believe how many MLB players you've watched all your life spend their quality free time chasing deer, ducks, turkeys and more, just like us.
Ted Williams, Craig Biggio, David Wells, Goose Gossage, J.D. Drew and Jake Peavy are all hunters, too, just to name a few.
Who can resist a good day in the woods?