For Pete's Sake

Royals’ Cheslor Cuthbert regularly calls home to check on his chickens

A rooster.
A rooster. The Associated Press

When a young man receives a significant amount of money to sign with a Major League Baseball team, it’s no surprise that he won’t wait long to spend some cash.

You’ve probably heard about ballplayers buying fast, expensive cars or nice clothes or even a big house.

But Royals third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert apparently dropped some money on chickens. Seriously.

In a story on the Spanish-language La Prensa website, Cuthbert’s family talked about his love of chickens, which dates to his childhood on Corn Island, Nicaragua. The story says Cheslor’s grandfather taught him math by asking questions like: “If I have three chickens and they take so many away, how many do I have left?”

In fact, the story says that Cuthbert’s father told a then 11-year-old Cuthbert to pick between playing baseball or raising chickens.

“I told him once that I would sell his baseball equipment and buy chickens with the money,” his father Luis told La Prensa.

Cuthbert, who is now 23, obviously chose baseball and he received a $1.35 million bonus when he signed with the Royals in 2009.

Now he has a lot of chickens. A lot of chickens.

La Prensa said that Cuthbert calls home daily to find out how his 73 roosters, 40 hens and 160 chicks are doing. Those numbers were not lost in translation.

“He gets photos and videos and makes calls to their caretaker everyday,” his sister Nadeska told La Prensa. “He adores them.”

La Prensa wrote that Cuthbert’s father was a big influence on his baseball career. When Cuthbert turned 10, his dad tied a ball to the rafters of the house, so Cuthbert could practice hitting. Dad also cleared a hill in their backyard to give him room to practice.

The story notes that Cuthbert joined a 14-and-under team in a tournament in Guatemala and he made his mark on major-league scouts there.

Cuthbert has been a pleasant surprise this season, filling in for the injured Mike Moustakas. Cuthbert is batting .293 with 10 home runs and 40 RBIs.

And if he continues this kind of production, Cuthbert should be able to add to his chicken collection.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff