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MLB Network Presents: Lenny Randle The Most Interesting Man in Baseball

MLB Network Presents: Lenny Randle The Most Interesting Man in Baseball

If I asked people who was the most interesting man in baseball, I would imagine I would get as many different answers as people asked. But if you asked Rolling Stone you might hear a different tune. According to the legendary magazine the most interesting man in baseball is someone many haven’t heard of, Lenny Randle.

Lenny Randle is not in the Hall of Fame. He never played in an All-Star Game, never won a World Series, and played on some of the worst teams in the 70’s and 80’s. But he was an interesting man.

Randle was featured in the MLB Network Presents show, Lenny Randle: The Most Interesting Man in Baseball. The show has been out for a few years, but I finally got a chance to watch it today. And I was glad I did.

I have two big memories of Lenny Randle. The first is the play in Seattle when he tried to blow the swinging bunt foul. That has been played on television many many times. The second was I knew he went to play in Italy after his tenure in the major leagues. But I never knew the impact he had there.

So why was he dubbed the most interesting man in baseball? Where do we start. Just a few things that he did during his time in the bigs was punch out his manager in Texas, took the roster spot of the late great Thurman Munson following his death in the middle of the season, and he was a part of some of the most infamous games. He played for the Washington Senators during their last season, including their last home game when the fans wound up storming the field causing the team to forfeit. He played for Texas in 1974 when they traveled to Cleveland for the worst promotion in history, 10 cent beer night. In 1977 he was at bat playing for the New York Mets when the lights went out as a blackout hit the city.

Randle also played with some of the greatest names in the game including Ted Williams and Billy Martin in Texas, Joe Torre with the Mets, and Maury Wills in Seattle. He was a journeyman player, but don’t let that fool you. Lenny could play. He stole 30 or more bases in season, twice. Randle hit over .300 twice, once in each league. He even played all over the field including every position but first base and pitcher.

Playing Baseball in Italy

Most interesting man in baseballAfter his days in the big leagues, he went to Italy where he became a cult hero. There playing with Nettuno he owned the league. But the most important part of him playing baseball in Italy was his love for the game. A guy who once made music records, did stand up in comedy clubs, and played with some of the games greats was now making the game of baseball in Italy grow.

In recent years Randle has been back to Italy in an effort to help grow the game. That shows the true nature of the man and his love for the game. The game has given him a lot over the years, but his effort to give back is what stands out to me. And to try and give back in a place like Italy makes it even better. Hopefully he can continue his efforts and get others to assist him.

So if you have a chance, check out the show on MLB Network. It is definitely worth it. I am hopeful one day I can have a cappuccino and chat with Lenny Randle one day, preferably while in Italy.

About Eric Bynum
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.

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