In Sports

Erik Kratz: Brewers playoff hero and turkey bacon pitchman.

Love Erik Kratz even more thanks to his days as a turkey bacon pitchman

There are plenty of reasons to love Brewers catcher Erik Kratz.

He's a real-life Crash Davis from "Bull Durham," a 38-year-old journeyman finally getting his first sniff at playoff baseball. He's taken complete advantage of the moment by becoming an integral part of the Crew's three-game NLDS sweep of the Rockies, hitting .625 – including going 3 for 4 in the final game. And he provided some charming audio clips while mic'ed up for Game 3, making fun of his speed on the bases and politely thanking the ump before celebrating with his teammates.

Oh, and here's one more reason: The guy was a pitchman for turkey bacon. Here he is selling turkey bacon with an animated bird dressed as a pig!

You may be wondering how a long-time minor league catcher with a career .211 batting average became a TV spokesman for bird bacon. After two seasons mostly spent in the Phillies minor league system, with just the occasional trip up to the majors, Kratz officially made the opening day roster for Philadelphia in 2013 – a nice story for the hometown kid, who grew up in Telford, Pennsylvania, just an hour outside of Philly. It just makes sense that local meat company, Godshall Meats, would pick the feel-good local guy as the face of their fake bacon.

Oh, and also Kratz's father is the co-owner and senior vice president at Godshall's.

Put that all together, and you get Erik Kratz sternly explaining to a judgmental umpire that Godshall's turkey bacon is 94 percent fat free.

According to the Kansas City Star – a future stop on Kratz's merry-go-round around the MLB – the ads turned him into a local legend of sorts, earning him the nickname "The Turkey Bacon Backstop." Plus, he probably scored a ton of free turkey bacon – a bonus for the health-conscious catcher.

"I don't eat pork bacon anymore," Kratz told the Star in 2015. "More health reasons, trying to be healthy. It's the best turkey bacon I've ever had. Everybody sees turkey bacon and they're like, 'Ugh.' But try my dad's turkey bacon. It's unbelievable."

We may just have to take him up on that offer – and maybe, if he keeps up his heroic playoff performance for the Brewers, a Milwaukee meat company will also make Kratz their Turkey Bacon Backstop.


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