World Series legend Madison Bumgarner remains true to his roots

Giants pitching star: I prefer to lead by example
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    Giants pitching star: I prefer to lead by example


Giants pitching star: I prefer to lead by example 02:59

(CNN)It doesn't matter the sport, it's a well-worn stereotype.

The successful, multi-million dollar athlete who lives life in the fast lane. A life of glamor, beauty and the brashest of bling.
But Madison Bumgarner is different.
Still a young man yet already a living legend, Bumgarner is the proud owner of three World Series rings.
    He carried the San Francisco Giants to the title again last October -- almost single-handedly.
    And to say he's humble would be an understatement.
    "I've been blessed with three World Series runs and I'm just 25 years old. So that's something that doesn't happen very often," he told CNN,
    Bumgarner played in three World Series games against the Royals last season, producing one of the most dominant post-season performances of all time.

    MVP honors

    He was rightly named the Series MVP. But when he spoke ahead of the new MLB season it was obvious he's more comfortable away from the bright lights and the adulation.
    "You want to be a leader for your team, you want to lead by example, instead of talking. I don't do a whole lot of talking," he said.
    When possible, he says, "I go home and I live on a ranch in North Carolina, not far from where I grew up. (It's the) same town, and you know, it's a lot more laid back lifestyle, relaxing."
    It's this quiet, rural environment that he enjoys returning to when the off-season and baseball commitments allow -- although it's not all life in the North Carolina slow-lane.
    A lot of Bumgarner's baseball peers will spend the winter working out to stay in shape. But the rugged demands of the outdoor life ensures Bumgarner is subject to a different type of fitness regime.
    "There's a lot of work can be done, and we'll do kind of the old school workout, kind of like a Rocky workout," he said.

    Rural workout

    "We'll chop down trees, build fences, a lot of work with your hands. I think that's tougher, doing stuff like that.
    For a man who's paid tens of millions of dollars, it's a refreshingly simple life.
    There are so many stories about Bumgarner, and not all of them are true.
    For instance, he adamantly denies that he ever dated a girl with the same name as him.
    But he says one of the most famous about the snake and the rabbit is absolutely legit.
    "We were out in Arizona spring training and (I) stepped on a snake," he begins.
    "You can imagine what that was like. Ended up, we killed the snake, and it had apparently just ate three rabbits, and my wife was able to save one of 'em, believe it or not. That's a pretty incredible story, but it made it."
    With San Francisco starting its title defense Monday, Bumgarner is again set for a key role.
    He admits it will be tough to repeat but given his incredible achievements at such a tender age anything is possible.