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That point Bo Jackson tried to kill Kevin Seitzer


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In the summertime of 1986, Bo Jackson and Kevin Seitzer performed side-by-side on the Memphis Chicks, the Kansas Metropolis Double-A farm workforce. And though there wasn’t any noticeable animosity, the boys — now teammates on the 1988 Royals — shared little in widespread. Not like Jackson, blessed by the Gods to be an athlete, Seitzer was your prototypical (aka: cliched) scrapper — the white small-college child (Japanese Illinois) who was drafted pretty late (eleventh spherical), however lived and died within the cage. Additionally not like Jackson, Seitzer stapled each emotion, feeling and opinion to his brow. Throughout his rookie season, for instance, Seitzer’s hometown of Middletown, Illinois, deliberate on throwing a parade in his honor — till Seitzer made it clear he didn’t like his hometown of Middletown, Illinois. “I doubt they’ll ever have a Kevin Seitzer day,” he stated — extra menace than response.

Seitzer was brash. Loud. Obnoxious. For those who had a whitehead in your nostril, he informed you. For those who farted, he was the primary to announce it. “He was a gnat,” stated Danny Tartabull, the outfielder. “You already know, the busy bee in everybody’s dialog. Most guys, earlier than they stated one thing, took the temperature. Not Kevin.”

“Kevin was annoying,” stated Jeff Montgomery, a younger reliever. “Not a nasty particular person. However he pushed issues when it was higher to stroll away.”

As a result of he largely stored to himself, Jackson could possibly be arduous to learn. Have been you his pal? Have been you not his pal? Typically he could possibly be heard laughing. Different occasions he flashed the sternness of a choose. His measurement made him intimidating sufficient that uncommon was the Royal who challenged him. “The one time I truly noticed somebody stand as much as Bo was [pitcher] Steve Farr,” stated Montgomery. “Bo had been informed Steve was speaking trash about him and he was mad. However that irritated Steve. He went straight to Bo and stated, ‘Do you have got an issue? In that case, let’s go — me and also you.’ Bo may have wrapped Steve up like a pretzel, however he didn’t as a result of he revered Steve holding his floor.”

Bo didn’t, nonetheless, respect Seitzer. “He’s one of many greatest ass-lickers we’ve bought on the workforce,” Jackson stated. “He at all times places his two cents in. And guys are like, ‘Will you shut the fuck up?’ ”

One day, early in the 1988 season, the Royals held pre-game batting practice indoors, at the cages beneath the stadium. The team broke into groups of four, and Jackson’s quartet included Seitzer, catcher Ed Hearn and infielder Bill Pecota. “[Kevin] is at all times the primary within the cage,” Jackson stated. “He needs to be the primary to hit. So we’re all again there, he takes his hacks, and I look down. I don’t don’t have anything [on] however my sliding pants.”

Jackson retreated to the clubhouse and threw on his shorts. When he returned, Hearn was wrapping his swings. Recognizing Jackson, Seitzer theatrically jumped into the cage.

“Excuse me,” Jackson stated, “however didn’t you simply take your fucking flip?”

“Properly,” Seitzer stated, “it’s best to have been right here . . .”

Three or 4 coaches, in addition to a handful of teammates, had been standing close by. Jackson thought Seitzer was (as at all times) attempting to peacock. “Look, man,” Jackson stated, “will you simply shut the fuck up and get out?”

He then entered the cage, the place Seitzer — inches away — continued to lecture on protocol. “Kevin stated to Bo, ‘Fuck you — you weren’t right here,’” stated Brian Watley, a Royals batboy. “Saying ‘fuck you’ to Bo appeared a bit of dangerous.”

Jackson was not joyful.

“Look, you higher cease speaking at me,” he stated.

Seitzer continued to bark.

“That is my final time telling you,” Jackson stated. “Don’t say the rest to me, or I’m going to kick your ass.”

Seitzer exited the cage, Jackson grabbed his Louisville Slugger, stepped in and missed the primary pitch. Seitzer snickered.

Jackson threw down his bat, walked towards Seitzer (“With fireplace in his eyes,” Hearn recalled), grabbed him across the throat together with his left hand and shoved his head in opposition to the concrete wall. Nobody with the Royals had witnessed this quick of a Bo metamorphosis. Inside seconds Seitzer’s eyes rolled again.

“Look, you picked the unsuitable motherfucker to fuck with on the unsuitable day!” Jackson screamed. “So long as you’re respiration air, don’t you ever speak to me like that once more! Motherfucker, I’ll break your neck!”

Relationship again to his boyhood in Bessemer, Alabama, Jackson’s philosophy on dispensing an ass-kicking was pretty easy: If anybody steps in to finish the ass-kicking, the ass-kicking intensifies. As a number of of the coaches and gamers tried separating the combatants, Jackson’s grip grew vise-like.

“Bo!” screamed Bob Schaefer, the first-base coach. “Bo! Bo! Let him go! Bo!”

Jackson wasn’t listening. He was overcome by rage. An excessive amount of Kevin Seitzer. His arms, Schaefer recalled, gave the impression to be rising in thickness by the second. The veins bulged from his left bicep.

“The more durable I squeezed, his eyes rolled again in his head,” Jackson stated. “And the more durable they pulled on me, the stiffer my arm bought.”

By now Seitzer’s toes had been off the bottom. His face was purplish-blue.

“It was like a horror film,” stated Tartabull. “Bo was Jason in Friday the thirteenth, and Kevin was the camp child about to be murdered.”

Lastly, after what felt like an hour, Jackson launched his maintain, dropped Seitzer to the ground and stormed again to his locker. He picked up a bat and swung on the nearest wall. Wooden and plaster exploded into little chunks.

Seitzer, in the meantime, was escorted to the coaching room, the place he rested with an ice pack affixed to his neck. A nonetheless steaming Jackson rose from his stool and entered the room — adopted by a half dozen curious/terrified/ wildly entertained teammates. Jackson stood over the battered Seitzer.

“Don’t you ever cross me once more,” he lectured. “For those who do, I’m not going to offer these coaches time sufficient to seize me. I’m going to tear your asshole, and I imply that from the underside of my coronary heart. Don’t you ever cross me once more.”

Seitzer nodded. A few half hour later, he tiptoed as much as Jackson. The cocksureness was gone. “Bo,” he stated, “can we simply neglect what occurred again there and be buddies?”

“No,” Jackson stated. “The shit don’t work that means. You could have stated what you wish to say, and also you imply it, however now you wish to come again and ass lick with me and say you’re sorry? No.”

Years later, Seitzer referred to Jackson as “an excellent teammate, however not somebody I knew that nicely. We weren’t shut.”

Jackson was extra blunt.

Kevin Seitzer may go fuck himself.


Excerpted from the guide THE LAST FOLK HERO by Jeff Pearlman. Copyright © 2022 by Jeff Pearlman. From Mariner Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission.

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