New Orioles starter Andrew Cashner grew up with a full baseball field in his backyard
Standing 6-foot-6, 235 pounds with a beard that spans several zip codes, Andrew Cashner -- who signed a two-year, $16 million deal with the O's on Thursday, according to a source -- more closely resembles Paul Bunyan's cousin than a Major League pitcher. And his backstory is, well, pretty much exactly what you'd expect.
He grew up on a ranch in Conroe, Texas, about 40 miles outside Houston, where his free time consisted of everything from chasing chickens to excavating gravesites for the family funeral home. He once had the tip of his ring finger lopped off by a log-cutter (don't worry, it was later reattached). There apparently exists a home video of Cashner getting dragged all around his family's property by a heifer.
But, somehow, none of that was the wildest part of his childhood: According to a 2014 story in The San Diego News-Tribune, Cashner also grew up with a full baseball field in his backyard.
"Jeff Cashner also had the heavy equipment and skill to build both a calf-roping arena and a baseball diamond right on the family ranch, the latter a veritable Field of Dreams where his son and teenaged teammates could practice any time they wanted. To this day, three local teams of players junior-high age use the field at the Cashner home."
Imagine: Whenever you want to play catch, or take some swings, or just run the bases like you're about to score the game-winning run, you could do it on an actual baseball diamond. Just be sure to watch for any wayward heifers.