Monday, August 30, 2010

Dudes of Cancer: Monsieur August

"I'm not an athlete. I'm a professional baseball player." — John Kruk

John Kruk

The former Major League baseball player, John Kruk, deserves much praise. Before joining the San Diego Padres in 1986, he won a championship…with the Mexicali Eagles. In 1987 he stole eighteen bases…but also got caught stealing ten times. He was a backup on the National League All-Star Team… in the Nintendo game, R.B.I. Baseball. After college he lived with two high school friends, who, without Kruk’s knowledge, were armed robbers. He may be the only player to ever retire in the middle of a game. Kruk wrote a book titled, I Ain’t an Athlete, Lady. Most importantly, he landed a role in a straight-to-DVD sequel to the baseball classic, The Sandlot, titled The Sandlot: Heading Home. It starred Luke Perry.

Krukker was fat, which isn’t itself a reason to tease anyone, except when you’re a professional athlete. He had a legit, Kenny Powers-style mullet. In the 1993 All-Star game—the real one and not the video game version—Randy Johnson accidentally threw a 98 mile-per-hour fastball over Kruk’s head. Kruk then swung wildly at a terrible pitch just so he could get out faster.

Nothing to joke about was Kruk’s testicular cancer in 1994, which resulted in the removal of his nut. Thanks to his jolly nature and us being only ten years old, Zeke and I then joked that Kruk had a golden ball as a replacement. Though I do not know of the chemical elements in Kruk’s scrotum, I am pleased to say that he’s been cancer-free for some fifteen years and is a great asset to Baseball Tonight, a highlight show on ESPN. He’s still pudgy, which is perfectly acceptable post world-class “athlete.”
Sports broadcaster John Kruk ducking from Randy Johnson pitch