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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

The Professional 3 9.01.13: Top 3 Baseball Playing Wrestlers
Posted by Jon Harder on 09.01.2013

Welcome everyone to another edition of the Professional 3 on 411mania.com! I'm Jon Harder and it is Labor Day Weekend. For many people, it's a three-day weekend. People are going to the beach, barbecuing, swimming in the pool, and just flat-out relaxing. For me, it's writing this edition of my "weird" P3. Trust me; it'll be a home run after reading this column.

Before we go any further, check out this week's Hardway Podcast on TheJonHarder.com with Mr. Mustafa, manager of the American Championship Entertainment Tag Team Champion Middle East Connection. Mr. Mustafa minces no words about Too Hot Steve Scott, Miley Cyrus, and ACE in general. He believes in Allah and shows his passion for life in wrestling. You can follow him on Twitter at @MrAsadMustafa.

Speaking of Twitter, you can follow me at @TheJonHarder. I love feedback on #thehardwaypodcast, the #Professional3, and whatever else you decide to shoot my way. I love all feedback, positive and negative.

Now, onto this week's piece. I will not lie. As a man who has been involved with wrestling one way or the other for the better part of 6 years, I started to feel a tad complacent with how my creativity was stifled. I felt as if wrestling was just my identity. Even though I doubt many people will totally agree with that statement (my girlfriend sure as Hell will, however), I knew I had to branch out and try some different creative projects. One was this column, which is an entertaining part of my weekend to do. The second, and something that has a wealth of potential, is my YouTube show alongside my colleague Leon St. Giovanni called Angry Mets Guys.

The New York Mets are my extremely open passion. They have been my team since my father used to play Mets game on the radio on the early 1990s on WFAN 660 AM with Bob Murphy calling the games. With this concept, I finally rediscovered my love for baseball. Despite A-Rod and the other men on Biogenesis and all the steroid abuse within baseball, there is no other sport like it. Incredibly entertaining and a game loaded with strategy. In some respects, baseball is very similar to wrestling with the way die-hard fans follow the sport and talk strategy for certain wrestlers when they have matches and link every championship victory to their entire careers.

That thought got my thinking about this week's P3. With wrestling and baseball as my two passions, I really started to think about if there were any baseball related characters in the sport of kings. Of course, me being me, I went into the archives and I pulled out 3 different characters based on America's pastime and throw them into the forefront. Wrestling has been filled with off-the-wall gimmicks and these three are great examples of what "the best of both worlds" brings. And with that in mind, I plan on sinking to another new low with this column. Without further hesitation...

THE PROFESSIONAL 3: Top 3 Baseball Playing Wrestlers

1) DASHER HATFIELD The Old Timey King of Swing is one of the most obvious choices when it comes to baseball related wrestlers. Formerly Create-A-Wrestler and MosCOW, Dasher Hatfield debuted on August 14, 2009 in CHIKARA and brought a different aspect to the world of wrestling. Displaying a fine array of baseball related maneuvers and Lou Pinella style arguments (ala kicking the dirt on an official); Hatfield has been the best example of being a baseball player in wrestling. With power like Lou Gehrig and speed like Ozzie Smith, Hatfield is a graceful wrestler, combined with the scrappy nature of a utility player. He just knows his role.

Dasher has been known to team with other athletes in his time, including the "Poor Man's Ben Wallace" Sugar Dunkerton and Mr. Touchdown within a little faction called the Throwbacks. Somehow though, Dasher truly displays the glory days of sports from the 1950s and 1960s with passion for his craft and ability to get the fans behind him through hard work and determination. He's a home run every time out.

2) ABE "KNUCKLEBALL" SCHWARTZ I truly wish Knuckleball Schwartz was unveiled prior to the strike in 1994 and put on television back in the late 1980s. Abe "Knuckleball" Schwartz was a character that came out when Major League Baseball went on strike in 1994. Protesting the strike, Abe hated the fans and blamed them. Although Knuckleball lasted for a short time in WWF, he won a few matches on Wrestling Challenge with a superplex, which showed Schwartz knew at least one move. Even more insane, he changed his name to MVP at the tail end of his run. Montel Vontavious Porter, you were NOT the first MVP in wrestling. The Most Violent Player was!

On a complete side note, I once saw Knuckleball in Madison Square Garden on the Hart Attack Tour in October of 1994, losing to Jim Powers in the second match of the evening. I can honestly say that if Knuckleball could not defeat Jim Powers, he wasn't winning the pennant anytime soon.


3) PETE ROSE Come on, how can you not talk about the first baseball player to be inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame? Pete Rose, banned from baseball for gambling back in 1989, came to WrestleMania 14 to ring announce one match. What he got was a Tombstone from Kane after completely bashing the Boston audience. You knew Pete wasn't done after that. Dressed as the San Diego Chicken, he tried getting Kane in Philadelphia in WrestleMania 15. Sadly, Kane once again Tombstoned poor Pete. WrestleMania 2000, he tried using the San Diego Chicken as a decoy in Anaheim to attack Kane with a baseball bat, but ultimately ate a Kane choke slam and a Rikishi stink-face. Rumor had it that the all-time baseball hits leader was going to find a way to get involved with Kane's triple threat for the WWF Hardcore championship at WrestleMania X-Seven, but the WWE and Rose couldn't come to terms. Pete Rose as WWF Hardcore champion would be legendary and would've made Rose the first to win a World Series and a WWF championship.

People can say Pete Rose shouldn't have been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, but I disagree. What a great schtick it is for Rose, a man banned from going into one Hall of Fame, to go into another one. It's great business. Pete Rose made quite the impact on the WWE during the Attitude Era and he was remembered for it with a Hall of Fame induction. Plus, Kane got the big rub as a guy who will always be linked with Pete Rose at three consecutive WrestleManias.

Baseball and wrestling linked together is tough, but it should be done, especially in these three men.  My two favorite pastimes linked together in my Professional 3: brilliant. It could be worse; I could have brought up AJ Pierzynski.

GOOD GRIEF. See you next week on the #Professional3.

Jon Harder



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