Zac Efron
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Video: Zac Efron’s heartwarming story about Dusty Baker

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In 2015, First We Feast and Complex Media transcended the interview format with the creation of the YouTube series Hot Ones. On each episode, released once per week, host Sean Evans interviews celebrities as they eat increasingly hotter chicken wings. Actor Zac Efron was today’s guest and he happened to offer up a rather heartwarming story about manager Dusty Baker, the current manager of the Astros.

Evans set up his question, saying, “So I’m fascinated by your signed baseball collection which isn’t just something that you spent millions of dollars on. It’s something that dates back to you being a little kid chasing down home run balls at Giants games.” He asked Efron, “Do you have a favorite story or a baseball that, to you, is like a crown jewel in the collection?”

Efron promptly responded, “Dusty Baker, the coach of the Giants at the time. He drove by and he was on a motorcycle so he didn’t have a window he could roll up. He saw there was a couple people waiting for him. I ran up with a baseball. I had a blue pen and the sweet spot of a brand new ball and I showed it to him. And Dusty was like, ‘Aw, I can’t right now, I got to go to church.’ And that just means, usually, like, ‘I don’t have time,’ right? He’s like, “I’ll be back in 30 minutes.’ He left and I thought I was never going to see him again. 45 minutes later, the motorcycle came roaring in and I was like, ‘No way!’ He literally pointed right at me and was like, ‘Come over here.’ I walked over. He’s like, ‘You still got that ball?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, thank you sir.’ I handed it to him and he signed it. That one meant a lot to me just because Dusty Baker doubled back from church.”

Evans followed up with another baseball-related question pertaining to Efron’s role in the movie Charlie St. Cloud. In preparation for the role, which involves throwing some baseballs, Efron worked with former pitcher and pitching coach Roger McDowell. Evans asked Efron if he picked up anything interesting working along side McDowell. Efron mentioned that he grew up playing baseball, so he was ahead of where some other actors might have been in a baseball role. Efron deflected the rest of the question, but it was interesting that two of the 10 questions on the show happened to be baseball-related. The entire interview is fun and interesting. Give it a watch:

The Baker anecdote starts around the 6:20 mark.

No one should be surprised to hear a heartwarming story involving Baker. He has been one of baseball’s good guys for decades. Even the beleaguered Astros saw this after A.J. Hinch was suspended for his role in the club’s cheating scandal. Baker was seen as someone who could help the organization weather the storm and put the team back in the public’s good graces.

Ex-Angels employee charged in overdose death of Tyler Skaggs

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FORT WORTH, Texas — A former Angels employee has been charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl in connection with last year’s overdose death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, prosecutors in Texas announced Friday.

Eric Prescott Kay was arrested in Fort Worth, Texas, and made his first appearance Friday in federal court, according to Erin Nealy Cox, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. Kay was communications director for the Angels.

Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in the Dallas area July 1, 2019, before the start of what was supposed to be a four-game series against the Texas Rangers. The first game was postponed before the teams played the final three games.

Skaggs died after choking on his vomit with a toxic mix of alcohol and the powerful painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone in his system, a coroner’s report said. Prosecutors accused Kay of providing the fentanyl to Skaggs and others, who were not named.

“Tyler Skaggs’s overdose – coming, as it did, in the midst of an ascendant baseball career – should be a wake-up call: No one is immune from this deadly drug, whether sold as a powder or hidden inside an innocuous-looking tablet,” Nealy Cox said.

If convicted, Kay faces up to 20 years in prison. Federal court records do not list an attorney representing him, and an attorney who previously spoke on his behalf did not immediately return a message seeking comment.