The Oakland A’s are gearing up for a postseason scrap, and part of the game plan is stocking up on fresh meat in the Deadline Deli. One of those choice cuts was veteran righty David Dewitt “Homer” Bailey, who we scooped up from the tanking KC Royals.
After spending his first 12 years playing in the National League with the Reds, Bailey was in for a big change. On July 14th, the A’s acquired him for infield prospect Kevin Merrell. It would not have been a shock if Bailey took a game or two to settle in, but instead he tossed his way to a strong first performance in the A’s 10-2 victory on July 17th.
Bailey came as a hell of a deal. Cheap price tag (just about half of his remaining, one-year, minor league contract), high stakes (Bailey needs a good performance this year to promote his arm for next winter’s free agency) and plenty of experience (12.5 seasons). With the pitching issues we’ve suffered from, another solid rotation member is just what the doctor ordered.
He wears cowboy boots, sometimes comes packing a hunting blade strapped to his hip, and displays multiple hunting tattoos, including the arrow he wears on his forearm, and a back-piece of a hunter aiming a gun at a tree. He is the son of a La Grange, Texas, chicken farmer and was drafted by the Reds at just 18 years old. Fresh out of high school, it only took Bailey three years before he made his MLB debut on June 8th, 2007.
However, Bailey may not have gotten the spur he needed on the baseball diamond, if it hadn’t been for hunting.
He learned to hunt from his dad starting at age six, out stalking game before he was a baseball player. In his freshman year of high school, Homer and his dad made a bet. If Homer pitched the team to All-State, his dad would buy him a special gun. His dad took the bet. Why wouldn’t he? Homer had never even started a game before.
That year, Homer took his team to All-States, and was the MVP of the tournament.
Homer got his gun.
Twenty years later, Homer Bailey already has two no-no’s under his belt, which he picked up in back-to-back seasons — 2012 and ‘13. This led to the Reds penning him to a six-year, $105mil contract.
Tonight, he takes the mound against his home state Texas Rangers, ready to bounce back after he was caught up in the flurry of losses the A’s suffered this week. The A’s take the field at 6:07PM, looking to inch closer to their 60th win of the season.