9 Things You Didn't Know About Donald Trump's Baseball Career

You know Trump as the controversial GOP candidate, but do you know Trump the baseball prospect?

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Complex Original

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The American presidential election season is long. Most of us already made our minds up months ago, yet we still had to slog through the muck of political attack ads, debates, leaked video, leaked emails, and other relentless embarrassments to our country. When it comes to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump—what is it we don't yet know? Hill dog has a mountain of shady emails and a history of taking money from Wall Street interests. The Donald thinks Mexican-American judges are racist against him, wants to slow members of the world's No. 2 most popular religion from entering the country, and grabs women by the gato. What's left to learn?

Well, on top of being a billionaire with a enigmatic hair style and (tiny?) hair-trigger twitter fingers, Donald Trump is apparently only a few decades removed from being a pretty decent baseball player. How decent? THE BEST BASEBALL PLAYER IN NEW YORK, apparently. Find out more below.

He was scouted by the Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Red Sox.

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In an interview with Rolling Stone, it was discovered that a young Donald Trump was scouted by the Phillies. Trump was "a star first baseman."

"He was good-hit and good-field: We had scouts from the Phillies to watch him, but he wanted to go to college and make real money."

The Phillies weren't the only team to get a peek at The Donald, though—according to the Daily Mail, the Red Sox also paid the young cadet captain a visit. 

He chose real estate over professional baseball because he wanted to make "real money."

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Hilarious that someone could avoid professional sports for the reason of wanting to "make real money," but I suppose when you end up a billionaire it was a good choice. From MSNBC:

"Now, in those days, you couldn't play baseball because there was no real...you know, it wasn't a thing. Plus my father was in the real estate business, which I didn't want to go into. I wanted to go into theater. I wanted to go into sports. But I also knew that was very limited because in those days you couldn't even make any money being a great baseball player."

Even today, funny enough, you can't make Trump money playing baseball.

As a catcher, he was unbothered by balls to the face.

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From the Washington Post:

A catcher, Trump’s uniform was often the dirtiest on the field, and he shrugged off foul balls clanging off his mask.

Think of that Kobe moment when The Mamba didn't flinch when Matt Barnes faked the ball at his head. Only, you know, with foul-tipped baseballs. Unflinching in the face of balls flying at his mask.

He would smash his friends' bats in anger and not apologize.

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Shocking, right? As per the Washington Post:

A fierce competitor, Trump could erupt in anger, pummeling another boy or smashing a baseball bat if he made an out, two childhood neighbors said. In school, he misbehaved so often that his initials became his friends’ shorthand for detention.

And more specifically...

After once making an out, Donald smashed neighbor Jeff Bier's Adirondack bat on the pavement. The bat cracked, Bier said, but Trump did not apologize.

Pro tip: Don't let Donald Trump borrow your baseball bat.

He hit into the shift on purpose because he "wanted to overpower" people.

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Donald Trump is not here for your easy base hits. You shift, he hits into your shift on purpose.

By sixth grade, Donald’s power as a right-handed hitter was enough that fielders shifted to left field when he batted. “If he had hit the ball to right, he could’ve had a home run because no one was there,” said Nicholas Kass, a schoolmate. “But he always wanted to hit the ball through people. He wanted to overpower them.”

Impressive to be able to pinpoint hits as a sixth grader. Move impressive that he purposefully chose the harder option just to stick it to the defense. 

At 12, he wrote a poem about baseball.

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The poem was published in his yearbook:

"I like to hear the crowd give cheers, so loud and noisy to my ears," Donald wrote. "When the score is 5-5, I feel like I could cry. And when they get another run, I feel like I could die. Then the catcher makes an error, not a bit like Yogi Berra. The game is over and we say tomorrow is another day."

Rhyming "error" with "Berra"? If Donald would've spit fire bars like these on the campaign trail maybe he'd have more of that "inner city" vote he covets so much.


Fred Trump wouldn't buy his son the latest glove.

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Running a bit counter to the "spoiled rich kid" narrative, the Washington Post discovered that a young Donald didn't always get everything he asked for:

In those years, youngsters yearned for the new mitts with intricate webbing that Rawlings had begun manufacturing. Peter Brant persuaded his father to help pay for the $30 glove, but Donald could not persuade Fred Trump to buy him one.

Too expensive, Fred told Donald, though he did agree to buy him a cheaper model.

Fred Trump out here buying baseball equipment from wack gloves dot com when Donald needed a hot new Rawlings. Sad!

To be fair, a $30 glove in 1958 crudely translates to a $246 glove today, so it wasn't like the new one was cheap. 

He could throw 80 MPH and turned a catcher's hand black and blue.

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One of Trump's former classmates, Ted Levine, told Business Insider about Donald's fastball and athletic prowess:

"He was just the best, a good athlete, a great athlete," Levine told Business Insider. "He could have probably played pro ball as a pitcher. I think he threw 80 miles an hour. I was the catcher. He made my hand black and blue every day . . . Could he play football? Could he play soccer? He could do anything he wanted. He was physically and mentally gifted."

Physically and mentally gifted with junk in the 80s? How has Curt Schilling not interviewed this man while having a catch?


He was "the best baseball player in New York."

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Just ask him:

"I always knew I was good. I was always good at it. I was always the best athlete. ... Always the best player. Not only baseball, but every other sport too. ... I was the best baseball player in New York when I was young. ... Everybody wanted me to be a baseball player. But I was good at other things too. I was good at wrestling. I was really good at football. I was always good at sports. I was always the best at sports."

And the humblest!

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