Frazier and Edgar: Hometown Boys Make Good
On the surface Todd Frazier and Frankie Edgar have little in common.
The 28-year old Frazier is a 6’3, 215 pound third baseman in his third major league season with the Cincinnati Reds. Edgar, who is 32 year olds, is a 5’6, 145 pound mixed martial arts fighter. While they don’t share much when it comes to physical appearance they do have things in common and for both of them Sunday was quite special.
Frazier of course made headlines well before reaching puberty. As a 12-year old he was a star on the Toms River East American Little League team that won the World Series in 1998. The year before that he won a National Punt, Pass & Kick Title and a national TV audience got to see that goofy smile for the first time.
Later he would quarterback his Pop Warner football team to a national championship in Florida. Of course baseball would be his calling card and he lived up to all expectations at Toms River South and later Rutgers University.
Edgar was a standout high school athlete of his own, becoming a dominant wrestler at Toms River East where three times he earned a trip to the state tournament and finished runner-up as a junior. He qualified for the nationals all four years while wrestling at Clarion University and about nine years ago began his pro career in a different sport.
Mixed Martial Arts is described by many as a combination of boxing and wrestling. Many also describe it as brutal and barbaric. Edgar found it to his liking and in 2010 upset B.J. Penn to win the UFC Lightweight title, a crown he would lose two years later.
So what do these two have in common besides athletic success? Well they both grew up in Toms River and decided that’s where they would settle down regardless of where their pro careers took them. They also do share a Rutgers connection as Frazier played baseball there and Edgar was an assistant wrestling coach under Scott Goodale. The link becomes even stronger when you consider both had very good days to cap the holiday weekend.
Frazier earned a well-deserved spot on the National League All Star team after having a tremendous first-half for the Reds. Most believe he deserved to be the starter but to tell you the truth Todd is just delighted at reaching one of his career goals. Edgar meanwhile scored a 3rd round TKO over his longtime rival Penn in the nationally televised finale of “The Ultimate Fighter” in Las Vegas. That dominating victory may have earned “The Animal” a feather title shot in the near future. So all in all it was pretty good day for a pair of hometown boys.