Professional home run thief Mookie Betts should be content being one of the best players in MLB. For most people, that would be enough.
But if you are even the least bit jealous of his ability to not only field but also run the bases and hit at superstar levels, you might want to ignore the fact that he is also a professional bowler.
Yes, Betts moonlights as a star in a completely different sport in his downtime. For example, here he is bowling a 300.
The perfect roll came in the final qualifying round of the 2017 World Series of Bowling in Reno, Nevada. It was actually Bett’s 10th perfect game but his most memorable. “This is definitely the most important one,” he said at the time, via ESPN.
Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Eisenberg recounted the spectacular moment last month when he spoke to bowling Hall of Famer Tommy Jones who was in the house when Betts dropped the hammer on 300.
According to Jones, Betts, normally the epitome of calm and cool on the baseball diamond, was a tad shaken heading into the final frames of that epic round.
“It was pretty neat to see how nervous and excited he was,” Jones told Yahoo Sports. “I’m like, ‘Bro, you bat leadoff in the World Series. Millions of people watch you. That doesn’t bother you, but trying to bowl 300 had you spooked?’ He was like, ‘Yeah, I was shaking pretty good out there.’”
This is the same guy who has shouldered an entire Dodgers organization and has led them to the World Series promised land.
Starting Tuesday night Los Angeles will battle the Tampa Bay Rays, and it’s thanks in large part to defensive heroics from the 28-year-old.
As for the reason why, Betts is just as befuddled as to the reason he adores the sport of bowling. Try as he might, he can’t quite convey why his heart belongs to the lanes as much as the baseball field. He spoke to Rolling Stone’s Ben Watkins about it in 2016.
“I have no idea what it is about bowling,” Betts told Rolling Stone at the time. “It’s just a love I have for it. I can’t even explain why. Bowling is just fun for me.”
He’s been rolling since the age of four thanks to his mother Diana Benedict who is referred to by the publication as a longtime bowler.
The profile is of someone we all know well. But the versatility he flashes in right field and in the batter’s box transcends MLB. He played a little football, basketball and is adept at golf. He’s just one of those superhuman phenoms who is good at everything.
His teammates will tell you that it doesn’t mean he rests on his talent alone. He is one of the hardest working guys in baseball. But it doesn’t hurt that he could probably pick up any stick or ball and have a go in whatever sport you’re playing.
“My plan is to be consistent,” Betts told Rolling Stone about his baseball career in 2016. “I don’t necessarily want to have better numbers than I did last year. I just want to be consistent. That’s all. If I can do that same thing or somewhere close to it every year, I’ll have a pretty decent career and be able to play for a long time.”
Perhaps that’s what he loves about bowling, a sport that only rewards the most consistent among us. Muscle memory and unrelenting practice are rewarded over brawn.
Whatever the case, it’s clear Betts is far more comic book character than an actual human. That’s the only explanation.