Sure, you knew that Ned Yost has managed the upwardly-mobile Kansas City Royals since 2010, and the Milwaukee Brewers for nearly six full seasons before that. Maybe you even recall his career as a player, or that his dad, Eddie Yost, had a major league career that lasted more than 2,000 games.
But until the Kansas City Star published this entertaining and edifying feature on Yost over the weekend, there's a lesser chance you knew he was friends with comedian Jeff Foxworthy. And there's no chance you knew that the two combined to kill 127 deer on their respective properties in Georgia last season.
My first thought: Yost has a guy named "Moose" — Mike Moustakas — playing third base.
It would be amusing for him to simply be friends with Foxworthy, or intriguing by itself to learn that Yost is an avid and prolific hunter. But imagining the manager of the Royals and the Blue Collar King of Redneck Comedy stalking around western Georgia with bows and arrows, or waiting out their prey after climbing up some tree and settling in a deer stand — that's some funny stuff that reporter Kent Babb has unearthed. And that's not all; Yost and Foxworthy named one of the deer they killed "Bo Jackson." You'd think that one would have been easy, what with the arthritic hip and pronounced limp.
"You've got to be a special deer," [Yost] says, "to get a name."
Breaking news: Ned Yost might be a redneck.
The first one was "Bo," after Bo Jackson, because Yost says he was "such a stud." Batman is still out there, and so is Herschel Walker, the broad-shouldered beast they hope to someday vanquish. Spider-Man and Victor are waiting for their tickets to heaven, and Yost and Foxworthy are waiting to punch them. There's even a deer they call Wil Myers, after the young and yet unproven outfielder in the Royals' farm system. Yost smiles when he tells you why, proud of his own creativity.
"Because he's going to be something special in two years," he says.
What else did we learn? Yost was friends with Dale Earnhardt, and he hates raccoons. Oh! Yost is also his own taxidermist!
A taxidermy studio in Mississippi hired him during the winter months, and in time, Yost eventually opened his own shop, behind a relative's bowling alley.
"When we were really rocking, we were doing two in a day," says Yost, who didn't give up the hobby until 2003, when Milwaukee hired him as manager.
I don't know. I think Brewers fans would have appreciated Ned more if only more of them realized he was so good at fleshing wild animals. We're talking about Wisconsin here. Camouflage and reflective orange clothing is compulsory.
The story doesn't necessarily make me appreciate him more as a manager, but Yost the redneck hunter is all right with me. And the greater KC area is replete with hunters (I might even be related to some of them). The Royals would be smart to offer a prize on fan appreciation day that includes a weekend with Yost and Foxworthy down in Georgia at Foxworthy's man cave silo. It's got a big screen. And all the doe urine you can soak yourself in, probably.
Big BLS H/N: The Big Lead