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Travis Hafner

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  • Post last modified:22 May 2024

Nickname: Pronk


Has anyone had his beef jerky or his candy bar? The Pronk Bars or Pronk Beef or whatever it was? It’s impossible to find now, but I wonder if back in the early 2000s it was big in Cleveland (what else would be big in Cleveland besides LeBron around that time)? Now as I am sure you are confused as to why Travis Hafner is called “Pronk,” I’ll start with that.

Why He Should Be Remembered

During Spring Training in 2003, former Cleveland Indians’ teammate Bill Selby bestowed upon Hafner “The Pronk” name as he was called “The Project” and “Donkey” as he looked like one while running. It soon became just “Pronk” and honestly it fits. At 6’3, Pronk was just your prototypical DH. Drafted by the Texas Rangers, he really didn’t breakout until he was traded to the Cleveland Indians in the 2003 season. During his ten year stint with the team, he hit for at least 100 RBIs for four straight years (2004-2007). In the 2005 season, he finished fifth in the AL MVP voting and in 2006, he tied Don Mattingly for the most grand slams in one season with six. He also has the most home runs by a player born in North Dakota and as mentioned before, he basically has his own food line.


Why He Is Not Remembered

For a guy that had multiple memorable moments in Cleveland, you would think that he would have some more recognition. Unfortunately despite again HAVING HIS OWN CANDY BAR AND BEEF JERKY, he arguably wasn’t even the most popular guy on those Cleveland teams as players like CC Sabathia and Coco Crisp were more charismatic than he was (again, he ran like a donkey). He was also injury prone and was only at the top of his game for those four seasons, which is definitely not a slight against him, but couple his inconsistency with lack of any playoff moments and well you get a huge man that mashes and gets a nickname that makes him sound as smart as Gronk.

Where He Is Now

Hafner is loving being a father as his three boys are all involved in youth baseball and that takes up a majority of his time. He is also involved in a special assistant type of role for the Cleveland Guardians. I wonder if he has like a bowl of his candy bars or beef jerky in his office for people that come in. Maybe a secret stash in his drawer for himself? When I find out, I’ll let you guys know.

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