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.
Baseball pranks certainly provide tremendous entertainment and help lighten the mood especially when your team’s struggling. One of my favorites was when Jarrod Washburn brought an ostrich into the Angels’ clubhouse and scared the daylights out of Ramon Ortiz. That was tremendous. But what Ken Griffey Jr. did was also fantastic. Apparently he enjoys creating inconveniences for his teammates:
Pitcher Josh Fogg arrived at his locker Wednesday to find it stacked with 60 boxes of pennies, 2,500 pennies to a box. He immediately looked at Griffey and said, “That’s good, Griff, real funny. Kick me when I’m down.”
Griffey warned him but Fogg didn’t believe it when Griffey said he was going to pay off a $1,500 debt in pennies.
“I’m a man of my word,” said Griffey. “When you owe a man $1,500, you pay him. You can’t do a whole lot with pennies, can you? Just think, each box weighs 16 pounds so Fogg has 60 bowling balls in his locker.”
Gotta love Hal McCoy relaying the information that really matters. Like we care about Jeff Keppinger’s knee injury — this is the good stuff. Maybe it’s something about the Reds’ clubhouse. Remember Adam Dunn pranking Jay Bruce? That was pretty solid. I’m not sure which one’s better.
Now don’t get the wrong idea here and think for a second that I’m about to buy into the hype and start posting wonderful tales about Reds prospect Jay Bruce, who can supposedly hit home runs one-handed, and throw balls so hard the whizz makes girls skirts go up. No, I’m just a fan of baseball pranks, and this certainly was a good one. The Enquirer has the details:
Dunn’s most elaborate prank happened Monday. Copies of the “Reds Report,” with Bruce on the cover, arrived in the clubhouse.
The headline next to Bruce’s photo was “The Next Big Thing.”
Dunn had Bruce sign copies for a number of people, including manager Dusty Baker.
Dunn then made Bruce deliver the copy to Baker and ask him if he knew Bruce was the next big thing.
“He came in here all shy,” Baker said. “ ‘It wasn’t my idea. It really wasn’t, Mr. Baker.’ I said, ‘Who’s idea was it?’
“ ‘Adam Dunn.’ ”
“Dunn came by later. I asked him whose idea it was.
“Jay’s all the way.’”
That’s a solid prank right there. Most players are uneasy seeing publications with their names and mugs on the cover. So to personalize one for your manager? That really has to stink. I feel bad for the kid. Thought not as bad as I felt for Kyle Kendrick. That could go down as possibly the greatest prank ever, probably because it was documented on video. If you still haven’t seen it, you must, just keep reading.