Old Baseball Rookie Pranks Were Pretty Good, Too
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of baseball pranks that the vets play on the rookies. What’s there not to like about guys major leaguers toting Hello Kitty backpacks around the yard? Especially at this time of year in September with all the rookies up for roster expansion, the times get even wilder! It’s not just costumes either — some of them can get really creative. Anyway, though we can get caught up in some of the good pranks these days, they weren’t too bad 20 years ago. This anecdote from Living on the Black — John Feinstein’s book about Tom Glavine and Mike Mussina — had me rolling. The following excerpt details a prank pulled on Glavine following his first major league win. Language NSFW.
When the game was over, Willie Stargell, the Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Famer who was then a Braves coach, walked over to Glavine in the clubhouse and handed him the game ball, giving him a heartfelt handshake. “You should give this to your mom,” he said.
Glavine thought that was a cool idea until he looked at the inscription Stargell had written on the ball. “Hey, Mom,” it said. “This is the ball from my first fucking major league win.”
Glavine almost gagged. Stargell reached into his pocket and produced the actual game ball, a huge smile on his face.
That’s pretty classic. Imagine if Glavine hadn’t looked down and passed it on straight to his mother — that woulda made for a sweet reaction.