SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — After the Dodgers tied the Giants yesterday, manager Don Mattingly mentioned that there is no instant replay, and no challenge system, in place during spring training.
When a reporter suggested that he dispute calls the “old fashioned way,” he declined.
“Teddy’s a big boy,” Mattingly said, referring to home plate umpire Ted Barrett. “He used to box with Tyson. You don’t want to mess with Teddy.”
I decided to fact-check this one. There are no references to Tyson sparring with Barrett in this 1989 article from the Eugene Register-Guard, but there is this tidbit about Barrett’s boxing background:
As an amateur super heavyweight (more than 201 pounds) boxer he was 36-6 with 20 knockouts. He never fought as a pro, but sparred a lot against guys like Greg Page and James Broad, and worked out with George Foreman and Greg Haugen.
“My family says I was the greatest pro fighter who never was,” Barrett said.
Maybe Barrett and Tyson did cross paths at some point. They’re close to the same age (Barrett is about a year older) and the article mentions that Barrett is originally from upstate New York — where Tyson honed his boxing chops en route to a brief-but-memorable reign as the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
A Mike Tyson story on a baseball blog. Enjoy it. They don’t come around often.