The Dodgers boast the highest payroll in Major League Baseball, with ten players on their roster raking in more than $10 million a year. But in the midst of the big-spending ball club, overshadowed by star power and dollar signs, is A.J. Ellis.
After grinding out ten seasons in minor league ball, the Dodgers catcher finally caught on full-time with Los Angeles in 2012. Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times penned a feature on the man behind the plate, describing his long journey to the majors but also highlighting Ellis’ most un-Dodger-like traits.
First, Ellis doesn’t cruise around L.A. in a Range Rover. Instead, he happily and willingly drives a 1999 Chevy Prism with 130,000 miles on it and two missing hubcaps.
“It was my wife’s first car. She bought it with her babysitting money. There’s no way we’re giving that up,” he said.
Ellis is also responsible for bringing in gourmet treats to the clubhouse. His father is a plant manager at a Smucker’s that produces “Uncrustables,” and the younger Ellis, the self-proclaimed advocate of the snack, passes out the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to his teammates.
“He is using Uncrustables to show that this is how you feed a high-powered athlete,” his father Gary Ellis said with a laugh.
The Dodgers will take on the Braves in the NLDS beginning Thursday night, and it’s safe to say we know what Ellis’ pregame meal of choice will be.
Photo via Twitter/@MontanoElsa