(KPIX 5)- It is an established fact that former San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner enjoys the ranching life. He owns a 100-acre property in North Carolina. He has an endorsement from outdoors apparel company Carhartt.
So, it should come as no surprise that Bumgarner also likes rodeos. But, the extent of his involvement in them may surprise a few people.
According to a story from The Athletic, Bumgarner has been competing in two man team roping competitions at rodeos for a few years. The story all started when one of the reporters noticed a Facebook photo of the winning team at Rancho Rio in which one of the competitors looked familiar.
The man on the left is Jaxson Tucker, a rodeo pro from North Carolina that Bumgarner has said before is a good friend of his. When The Athletic brought this picture to the attention of Bumgarner, he didn’t exactly deny it was him.
“Oh boy,” Bumgarner said to The Athletic. “This is ruining my alias.”
The story goes on to lay out several other occasions in which Bumgarner entered roping competitions under the alias of Saunders. His participation in the rodeos hasn’t exactly been a secret, as he has done interviews with MLB.com and the Wrangler Network discussing his affinity for the sport.
In the piece Bumgarner says he has been recognized many times at various competitions over the years, but the main reason for using the alias is that he didn’t want to get too much attention outside of the roping world.
The 30-year-old Bumgarner signed a 5-year $85 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks in December. When asked whether or not his new contract would allow him to continue roping, he demurred, telling the reporters to ask Diamondbacks managing partner Ken Kendrick.
Either way, Bumgarner a.k.a Saunders, is likely going to have a much harder time keeping his roping exploits out of the spotlight now.