In yesterday's Three Count, I discussed how pumped I was for the news that broke on Monday regarding Kurt Angle entering the WWE Hall of Fame. Well on Tuesday, Fort Dodge High School one upped that Hall of Fame induction with one of their own. I'm sure you saw this news already but for those of you who didn't here is this Fort Dodge High School Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2017:
That's right, friend of the blog Mitch Eslick will soon become a Hall of Famer. I'm not sure how many years he's actually been on the ballot but I'm just going to go ahead and call him a no-doubt first-ballot Hall of Famer. A two-sport standout in high school it was just a matter of time before this day came.
Mitch was a First Team All-State basketball player and a State Champion tennis player; and I believe he still holds the record for most points scored in a 8-and-Under YMCA 6 foot rims game. My guess would be that even though I'm on the short list to induct Mitch into the Hall of Fame I probably won't be the one selected to do so. For that reason, I'm dedicating the last two spots in today's Three Count to share some of my favorite Mitch Eslick stories.
I'm sure before Mitch's Hall of Fame induction, many stories will be told about Mitch's high school and collegiate athletics career. Whether it be carrying his team to a state basketball appearance, being carried to a state doubles tennis championship, the dramatic second-half postseason comeback at Mason City, and the list could go on and on. I'd like to shine some light on his lesser known athletic dominance......on the golf course.
Long-time readers of Thoughts From The 808 probably most recognize Mitch from his multiple appearances in the Miller Masters and Miller Open. Hell, he's on the home page of this blog. Mitch Eslick is easily in the Top 10 of all golfers to ever participate in a Miller Masters. While he's never actually won a trophy at one of these events, he's always been knocking on the door steps. In nine events, Mitch has finished second in seven of those events in the best ball portion. It's just a matter of time before he takes that final step.
But more than wins and losses, it's what Mitch brings to the clubhouse and golf cart when he steps on a golf course. Some of my favorite Mitch Eslick golfing memories:
- When faced with an important chip from the dreaded rough of Rolfe, Mitch deciding to help his partner out by just pulling a 6"x6" section of grass from the roots out with his bare hands to improve their team's lie. A true innovator of his time.
- Andy: "Sweet visor Mitch".
- After the Front 9 in our inaugural Miller Masters at The Talons of Tuscany, Mitch showing great relief after hearing the bathrooms were unlocked. "Great, I didn't want to have to take a piss on a course this nice."
- Showing up to last year's Miller Masters.....with the plastic still wrapped around his new clubs he hadn't taken off yet.
- Mitch not realizing his 3-iron and his pitching wedge were two different clubs because the W and the 3 on the club faces looked similar. "Well I thought I hit that wedge pretty far a couple holes ago. Just chalked it up to getting into pretty good shape recently."
I'm not sure if I'm even allowed to tell this story but unless you're Ric Flair you only go into the Hall of Fame once so I think it's now or never. But little known fact about Mitch Eslick is that he used to be a big wrestling fan. When we were both young kids, we'd always break down the world of WWF at family gatherings. Big debates over Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, and the Macho Man.
Well one year at some family function I started asking Mitch something wrestling related and he responds "I don't know, I can't watch wrestling anymore."
Shocked, I go "What? What are you talking about?"
And Mitch proceeds to tell the story of how he received his lifetime ban from professional wrestling. I'll try to recreate Mitch telling me the story but I'm sure I won't be able to do it justice. Also good to note going into this story that Mitch is like 8 or 9 at this time.
Mitch: "Well I was watching wrestling one day and saw this guy do this move. And I figured, 'I could do that'. So I went to find Molly (Mitch's sister who's one year younger than him) to see if I could actually do it. So I go into her bedroom and try to powerbomb her. So of course she starts screaming. By the time I get her up on my shoulders, Mom comes in and starts screaming at me to put her down. Then I got yelled at and I can't watch wrestling anymore."
I'm not sure if Mother Eslick :) meant that he was banned from watching wrestling for the rest of his adult life. But to my knowledge, Mitch still hasn't watch professional wrestling to this day. He even refuses to enter my social media WWE contests. #LifeTimeBan. That's some type of dedication, focus, and restraint. And that's what makes him a Hall of Famer.