It may not be a 1991 Mazda like the one belonging to Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris, but A.J. Ellis' ancient car could hold its own against any other clunker owned by a professional athlete.
In Bill Plaschke's excellent and revealing profile of Ellis in the Los Angeles Times, he notes that during the offseason Ellis and his wife, Cindy, still drive around in their 1999 Chevy Prizm. The car, which Cindy bought with her babysitting money, has 130,000 miles on it.
"There's no way we're giving that up," Ellis told Plaschke.
This is coming from a guy who has been in the big leagues since 2008 and is getting paid $2 million this year. After it got out that Morris was driving a clunker, Mazda stepped in and refurbished it. If only Ellis were so lucky.
But that's not the only humbling anecdote about Ellis. Plaschke also writes that Ellis frequently hands out peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the clubhouse. He gets them from his father, who runs a Smuckers plant that produces Uncrustables.
While he's not often heralded as one of the league's best backstops, Ellis is having a solid year for the N.L. West champs. He has worked well with the Dodgers' pitching staff, whose 3.14 ERA is the lowest in baseball. And Ellis is nabbing potential base stealers at a rate of 44 percent, good for second in the National League.
(H/T to For The Win)