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The Mighty Garfoose

The fire-breathing, baseball eating, half giraffe, half moose that dreams are made of.

The Garfoose

Explaining how the Garfoose got started is, well...interesting. He seems like one of those ideas that pops into your head when it’s late, you’re bored, and you’ve had too much sugar (or something stronger than sugar). Actually, that's only part of it. The major impetus for the Garfoose's creation was my wife .

The amazing Mrs. Hayhurst works with special needs kids for a living, and her selfless dedication has always been close to my heart. I wanted to support her in her quest to help special needs children understand that special isn't a bad term, but a fantastic one that we can all be proud of. In leu of the more common athletic charity appeals, my support happened to come out in the form of a fire breathing, magically empowered, indestructible, wifi enabled, half giraffe half moose... like I said, way stronger than sugar.

My intent was to create an animal as special and unique and wondrous as kids with special needs. I loved the idea and so did my wife, and I had every intention of writing a kids book staring this majestic creature, but then I made the mistake (or maybe genius move) of making the Garfoose known to the baseball world.

In the baseball world, it's survival of the fittest. To keep up (and not get made fun of in the locker room), the Garfoose had to get a little tougher, a little faster, and a little more...uh... flammable. That's how he got his fire breathing. In fact, he got a whole list of predatory upgrades (laser vision?). The Garfoose of today is ready and able to take the on Sith Lords, robot ninja armies, the undead, Chuck Norris, and yet still excited to read at school functions and play kickball.

The rest, as they say, was history. Go figure, an eccentric reliever with an imaginary animal for a friend would become popular with baseball fans. Before I knew it, the Garfoose was synonymous with me. It didn't help that  I was doodling Garfooses, sculpting them, referring to them in stories, and signing them on baseballs. In fact, The Garfoose currently accompanies my signature on books, baseballs, cards and all manner of things. Hey, I may not get to write CY Young next to my name, but Cy Young never got to draw a fire breathing giraffe with antlers next to his. Point, Hayhurst.

The Enemies of Goodness

No good hero is complete without a villan against which his powers can shine. The Garfoose's nemesis is quit formidable— my grandmother. If you've read either of my books, you know my grandmother is a real piece of work. I didn't exaggerate her when I wrote about her, but I also didn't tell you that she does have a sweet and caring side to her that comes out when the moon is full and planets align etc... This version of my grandmother has nothing to do with her nice traits, however, and everything to do with the crazy, paranoid, tall-tale side that has filled my childhood life with lore about murderous hillbillies, satan worshiping neighbors, evil hounds, stupid doctors, and incompetent husbands. She conjures them all out of dark magic she mixes in her kitchen, brewing lard, bacon, and pure evil to create a never ending throng of minions bent on snuffing out me and my Garfoose.

So far she has been unsuccessful. But that's simply because of her tactics. In recent days she's stopped trying to overpower the Garfoose with giant, lumbering goons and undead relatives from West-By-God, and switched to simply overwhelming him with a tidal wave of squirrel minions. You'll see them around the site, hacking on things, disconnecting pages, screwing up my grammar. Though they look cuddly, and sweet, they are pure woodland evil. Don't be a hero, steer clear of them and let the Garfoose handle it.

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The Ballad of The Garfoose

Over the years the Garfoose has gotten quite a back story. Did you know he protects the world's secret baseball groves that only flurish deep in an uncharted Tibetan mountain range? It's true. Did you know the Garfoose eats unruly fans? Also true, I've seen it with my own eyes. I've even heard Garfooses can turn invisible... what was that noise?

The Garfoose made his first literary appearance in annals of Baseball America about two years ago. Since, he’s been a very popular topic of conversation. People commonly ask who or what he eats? What does he do for fun? Can I ask him to eat my college professors? Etc, etc, etc...  I don’t have all the answers, but I do know this: someday the Garfoose will get his own book and it will be for kids, or at the very least, the young at heart. Until then, look for the Garfoose silhouette on baseballs, cards, or books. That's how you know an item has been Garfoose approved. As long as you have it in your possession, you don't have to worry about being eaten, and, hey, isn't that what we're all afraid of when we stop to think about it?


Evil X-Ray Halladay the III

The Garfoose has other enemies. All over the world there are those who wish to see good fail. One such person is Evil X-Ray Halladay the III. That's Roy Halladay's evil clone, born in a test tube, raised as an assassin, but ultimately to lazy to really follow through. He settles for beating up kids smaller then him, internet scams, and frauding the government. He hates the Garfoose because he hates me, and all other pitchers who've ever been to the top—especially his clone, Roy.

Unlike my grandmother who abhors the internet, Ray has a twitter handle, @EvilRayHalladay. He uses it to scam people, insult players, and live tweet games. If you follow him be prepared for a long string of snark and cruel sarcasm (and a lot of boasts about beating up orphans). Oh, and if he tries to sell you something, DO NOT BUY IT. The pills will not make anything bigger...

Photographic Evidence

Moose antlers. Purple spots. Dangling ossicles. Fire. Know what to look for!