Dale Torborg, who is starting his 16th year as strength and conditioning coach and 13th year as Minor League Strength and Conditioning Coordinator for the Chicago White Sox, has taken a very unusual path to his current position. What other strength and conditioning coach can say that he is the son of a former MLB catcher, coach and manager, a former minor league player himself and former professional wrestler? And, if that’s not enough, he has also acted in commercials, appeared in a movie (Transporter 2) and consulted on two other movies (A League of Their Own and Mr. Baseball), worked for Ted Turner, hung out with Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, Sting, Goldberg, Tom Hanks, Madonna, Geena Davis and Tom Selleck and is married to a professional barrel racer.
Dale was born into a baseball family in Mountainside, NJ. His dad, Jeff, a 10-year vet with the Dodgers and Angels had caught Sandy Koufax’s perfect game in 1965 and Nolan Ryan first no-hitter in 1973. Jeff was with the Angels when Dale was born. Over his career, Jeff would spend 10 years as a Yankee coach and would go on to manage the Indians, White Sox, Mets, Expos and Marlins.
Dale, an All-State first baseman, graduated from Jonathon Dayton HS in Springfield, NJ in 1990. Received a full baseball scholarship to Northwestern University in Evanston, IL where he played baseball and earned a BS in Radio, TV and Film in 1994. Before his senior year at NU, Dale suffered a major injury during a collegiate summer league game. A throw into the runner resulted in a spiral fracture of his left humerus. He returned to the Northwestern lineup his senior year leading the team in average and RBI’s. After graduation, played minor league ball for the Mets and Yankees. Almost a year to the day from his broken arm, a fastball to the face during his first pro season derailed his professional baseball career.
Torborg retired as a player in 1995 and entered into pro wrestling after a chance meeting with WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan on a flight to LA. Hogan, a friend of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, talked baseball with Dale during the trip and introduced him to another baseball player turned wrestler, Macho Man Randy Savage. Not long after that chance meeting, he began competing as the MVP (Most Violent Player) for the American Wrestling Federation (AWF). After an overseas wrestling tour in India, Dale was offered a contract with WCW (Word Championship Wrestling) in 1997. The WCW, which had recently struck a marketing deal with the rock band KISS, changed his persona from The MVP to The Demon which was a character based on Gene Simmons’ stage alter ego. His wrestling career ended in 2001 when WCW was bought out by the WWF (World Wrestling Federation).
Dale left wrestling and joined the Montreal Expos as strength coach in 2001 and moved to Florida in 2002 when the Expos became the Florida Marlins. After helping the Marlins win the World Series in 2003, Dale joined the White Sox in 2004 as the Minor League Strength and Conditioning Coordinator. The next year, White Sox went on to win the World Series. Dale has combined his pro wrestling career with his baseball background. He gives out custom White Sox Championship belts to the hardest workers in the organization.
He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach (RSCC*D) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Dale resides outside Daytona Beach, FL during the off-season with his wife Christi, a professional barrel racer and 10-year old daughter, Sierra. While he’s home, he enjoys watching his wife and daughter compete in their barrel racing competitions. Dale continues to wrestle occasionally in his off time. He has wrestled for Hulk Hogan’s XWF, as well as TNA (Total Nonstop Action Wrestling) with former White Sox catcher A. J. Pierzynski in 2005, 2006, and 2007. Some of his hobbies include working on movie scripts with Charlotte Knights’ strength coach, Shawn Powell as well as going to concerts. Whenever he gets a chance, he travels to see some of his favorite bands, including Alter Bridge and of course, KISS.
His philosophy of strength and conditioning in professional baseball is as follows: “Everything we do with our players is to keep them on the field and to help maximize their performance while competing.”