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RIP, Macho Man Randy Savage

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  May 20, 2011 01:05 PM

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Famed wrestler Macho Man Randy Savage died in a car accident Friday May 20, 2011 in Tampa, Fla. He's seen here in Cambridge for the Harvard Lampoon Real Man of the Year ceremonies in 1998. (John Blanding / Globe file)

In case you missed it, TMZ is reporting that wrestler Macho Man Randy Savage died in a car accident today.

Back in 2005, I was assigned to cover the NLCS between the Astros and Cardinals. Two memories from that series stick out to this day:

1. Albert Pujols hit a home run in Game 5 that sent the series back to St. Louis. I've never seen a ball hit so hard. It sucked all the life out of Minute Maid Park in an instant.

2. The next day I met the Macho Man.

I was walking from my hotel in St. Louis to old Busch Stadium on Oct. 18. The teams had a workout that day before Game 6. About two blocks from the park, there was the Macho Man on the sidewalk coming my way.

He had on a red cowboy hat, big sunglasses and a Cardinals jacket. He played in the minors for the Cards and was still a big fan, as it turned out.

In my job, you learn not to get too excited when encountering famous people. It's not cool to be a journalist and get all silly when Willie Mays walks by. I got on an elevator once with Muhammad Ali at the 1996 Olympics and managed not to act stupid.

But the Macho Man? I had to talk to him. I wasted thousands of hours as a kid watching wrestling and nobody was more entertaining than the Macho Man. OK, maybe George "The Animal" Steele. But Macho Man was a close second.

Thankfully, he was cool. You don't dress like that unless you want people to notice, I suppose. We talked some baseball, I asked about the lovely Elizabeth and we parted ways.

"Do your thing, brother," he said. "Ooooooh, yeah."

Stupid, right? But it was something I'll never forget.

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