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The best anecdotes about Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner

Perhaps the most unbelievable story is that before he started dating his wife Ali, he dated a girl named Madison Bumgarner. "No relation, I'm sure of it," Bumgarner said.  

San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner was named Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year this week, and Tom Verducci's cover story profiles Bumgarner's journey from a small North Carolina town to World Series MVP.

It also features a series of funny anecdotes about Bumgarner. Here are six of the best.

1. He dated Madison Bumgarner

Before he started dating his wife Ali, the Giants pitcher dated a girl named Madison Bumgarner. "No relation, I'm sure of it," the pitcher said.

• VERDUCCI: 2014 Sportsman of the Year: Madison Bumgarner

2. He bought his wife a cow

When he eventually did marry Ali, he did so in style and gave her an unusual gift before the wedding. He bought her a cow - though, Verducci writes, not specifically as a wedding present. She loved it.

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3. He didn't own a suit

Bumgarner skipped the tuxedo for his wedding. He instead donned a white, open-collar shirt and blue jeans. He also had his pocketknife on him. He bought his first suit for Tuesday's Sportsman of the Year banquet.

4. He saves bunnies

Bumgarner and his wife were roping cattle when they saw a snake. Bumgarner grabbed an ax and killed it. Inside, they found two baby jackrabbits. One was alive, and the Bumgarners nursed it back to health. They eventually released it into the wild.

5. He owns a Clayton Kershaw horse

Bumgarner and the Dodgers lefthander are divisional rivals. But the Giants ace has an appreciation of the Cy Young winner and 2014 NL MVP. Take his new horse for example. It's strong and fast and powerful. "They don't make 'em like that every day," Bumgarner said. "I tell people I bought a Clayton Kershaw horse."

6. His dog's name is Bohunkus