Earlier this season, Chris Carpenter had one of his right ribs removed in an unusual surgery designed to alleviate the pressure on the nerves that run to his right arm.
But what the St. Louis Cardinals pitcher claims he did with that rib once it was out was even more unusual: Carpenter brought the bone home and gave it to his 7-year-old daughter Ava after she asked for a souvenir from her daddy's stay in the hospital.
Carpenter told Fox Sports Midwest of his daughter's unusual request as he prepares to make his first start of the 2012 season in a game against the Chicago Cubs on Friday:
(Getty Images)"(The rib) is actually in one of my cabinets in my bathroom," Carpenter said. "I'm still trying to figure out what we're going to do with it. It's probably smelling really good. It's in a jar with some of that solution. It was pretty gross, actually.
"My daughter asked me to bring something back from the hospital and she said 'your rib.' So I brought my rib back. Fortunately the doctor gave it to me and allowed me to take it home.
"I'm sure we'll do something with it ... Make a necklace or bracelets or something. We haven't figured that out yet."
C'mon Chris, be creative! Raffle it off to a creepy Cardinals fan on eBay and boost young Ava's allowance. Or slather it in barbecue sauce and see if you can trick Motte or Wainwright on their next lunch trip to Pappy's. Heck, bring the jar to the dugout as your Cards make their playoff push and christen it the "Rally Rib."
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(Just make sure you get that thing trademarked before it becomes 2012's version of the cash-cow Rally Squirrel.)
Ah, I kid. Even though the gesture was super weird, it's nice that Carp was thinking of his young daughter. The only thing my parents ever brought home from the hospital for me was a baby brother and sister.
Also, I really like to imagine that Ava — whom the nation first met via her entertaining faces during last year's World Series trophy presentation — impersonated a young Chris Rock in "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka" while requesting the relic.
"No, no, one rib ... I sure am hungry."
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