It was a standout MLB debut for San Diego Padres‘ rookie starter Logan Allen on Tuesday night against the Milwaukee Brewers. Allen pitched seven scoreless innings at Petco Park, and gave up only three hits and two walks, while striking out five. But, the biggest story that came from Allen’s first major league start was the story of his one dollar bet with WWE wrestler, actor and TV personality John Cena.
It’s an interesting story. The two met at a steakhouse in Tampa, Fla. and struck up a conversation. Cena and Allen talked for hours, and Cena ended the conversation with a challenge for Allen. “I bet him a dollar that he wouldn’t make the major leagues,” Cena said. “If I lose, when you make it to the major leagues, I will come and personally pay you one dollar.”
Here’s how Cena describes his personal history with Allen:
Cena kept his word, and was at Petco Park to cheer on Allen in his debut on Tuesday night. As a nod to Cena, Allen used the wrestler’s entrance theme, “The Time Is Now,” as his warmup song. Here’s what Cena told The Athletic:
“Just knowing his character, hearing about his family background — and at such a young age, he kind of is a support system for his family — super impressive,” Cena told The Athletic. He gestured toward the field, where Allen was in the midst of a perfect inning. “I am less impressed by this. I am more impressed by that. Because that right there shows you that he won’t quit. I kind of knew this day would come. But I just wanted to add some spice to it. There’s nothing else I could’ve done to motivate the kid. So I figured, ‘Why not maybe put a false chip on his shoulder, just so he could, like, stick it to the man?’ It’s going to be awesome paying the bet tomorrow.”
“It’s now not just us three knowing about Logan,” Cena said. “More people know about Logan. And maybe non-Padres fans know about Logan. And maybe general sports fans know about Logan. He’s a good human being, and he’s a guy I want to root for. And sport needs folks like him.
“That was really awesome,” Allen told reporters of Cena’s appearance. “I’m glad he could be here. He was wearing my jersey, that was really cool. Obviously John owes me a dollar, so I can’t wait to receive that.”
Allen, an eighth-round pick in the 2015 draft by the Boston Red Sox, was dealt to San Diego in the deal that sent Craig Kimbrel to Boston. The 22-year-old southpaw is currently ranked by MLB.com as the Padres’ seventh-best prospect and ranked 76th overall. He is also, as of this week, $1 richer.