Billy Beane had a pet raccoon for four days in the 80s

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Toronto Blue Jays land cover of Sports Illustrated
Tuesday October 6th, 2015

Before he was the universally revered baseball genius, A’s VP of baseball operations Billy Beane was a minor leaguer with a terrible idea. 

Tom Verducci has a story in this week’s Sports Illustrated about the Blue Jays and manager John Gibbons. Gibbons had a cup of coffee in the majors with the Mets and crossed paths with a few big names during his time in the minors. Among them was Beane, who spent two years with Gibbons at Double A Jackson in 1982 and ’83. 

One year Beane hatched a scheme to acquire a raccoon and fulfill a life-long dream.

“One thing people don’t know about Billy is that he always wanted a raccoon as a pet,” Gibbons says. “I have no idea why. So one day in instructional league Florida, we drove out to some Godforsaken place in a rural area and Billy buys this raccoon and brings it back with him in a cage. It must have been only four days later when he said, ‘This is not going to work.’ And that was the end of having a pet raccoon. Not one of his better ideas.”

Was it a better idea than trading Josh Donaldson to the Jays, though?

Quiz: Which team should you root for in the playoffs?

- Dan Gartland

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