Here's everything you need to know about Will Ferrell's epic day at MLB Spring Training
Will Ferrell made baseball history in Arizona on Thursday. He not only played every position on the field, but he did it while suiting up for 10 teams. Take that, Joel Youngblood, the only Major Leaguer to get hits for two teams in a single day in 1982. Not so special now, huh?
In camp as part of a new HBO special from Funny Or Die in partnership with Major League Baseball to support the fight against cancer, Ferrell traveled to five Cactus League stadiums by van and helicopter throughout the day.
You can relive the glory below, or check out #FerrellTakesTheField to see how MLB, its teams, its players, its fans and HBO documented the historic event in real-time.
Enjoy the show!
9:30 ET/6:30 PT: Ferrell started out his expedition with an interview on ESPN's "Mike and Mike." This whole Spring Training extravaganza was about raising money for charity -- close to $1 million, according to the actor -- but Ferrell also revealed a bit of personal motivation to the two hosts: "What if today I play out of my mind, and what if I make the regular roster? … That's kind of what the goal of today is -- I'm hoping to land with a club."
He began the day feeling confident. "A lot of these clubs are really looking for a clubhouse presence -- you know, a 47-year-old journeyman to provide the intangibles," Ferrell told Mike and Mike. This is someone who hit .390 his senior year of high school, after all -- which he describes as "sheer guts and instinct."
And as for his proclivity for stripping down to his underwear in films:
"I have the physique a lot of people dream about having. It's my obligation to share it with the world." - Will Ferrell- Mike & Mike (@MikeAndMike) March 12, 2015
And share it he did, donning all of these jerseys:
Ferrell also spoke with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, who provided some words of wisdom and a pep talk ahead of the big day.
And Cubs pitcher Jon Lester offered up some advice of his own:
11:20 ET/8:20 PT: Ferrell arrived at Hohokam Stadium, Spring Training home of the Athletics, focused and ready to go:
And, after a quick physical, suited up:
12 ET/9 PT: Before his appearance on the field at Hohokam Stadium, Ferrell took time out for an interview on High Heat with Chris "Mad Dog" Russo. Previewing what he called "an extraordinary day," Ferrell reiterated his confidence that his 10-team performance would earn him a full-time gig: "I'm actually hoping the acting career is over after today. It's pretty much the feeling out here that I'm going to land with one of these clubs."
He also shared a few lesser-known baseball factoids. "I know for a fact that Curt Schilling, the infamous bloody sock -- that was from a shaving accident," he told Russo.
Check out the rest of the interview in the video below:
After the interview with Russo, Ferrell visited with former A's shortstop Bert Campaneris. Campy was the first big leaguer to play all nine positions in one game in 1965, and he made sure to give the actor some tips:
Just to note: Vegas had Ferrell at +300 to get a base hit entering the day.
3:05 ET/12:05 PT: Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics got underway at Hohokam Stadium.
It was Ferrell's first game of the day, and thus his first chance to take on some of the other Vegas prop bets, which pegged him at +500 to commit one error and +1000 to commit at least nine.
Regardless of his performance in the field, the fans were excited to hear his name announced with the starting lineup:
And he delivered -- despite not being at the center of too much action, he kept the infield organized during his inning of play:
But then, Ferrell heard the news that countless players have heard before him -- he was traded:
Thankfully, he didn't have to go any further than the opposing dugout:
Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim kicked off at Tempe Diablo Stadium and Ferrell joined the party in the top of the third when he replaced reigning AL MVP Mike Trout out in center field. Trout passed the torch, so to speak, giving his cap to Ferrell as the comedian relieved him of his duties.
Shortly thereafter, Ferrell's skills were put to the test when he held Wellington Castillo to a single on a ball lined out to center:
The Angels then traded Ferrell to the Cubs for an appliance:
Ferrell got right to work coaching third base with signs that were appropriately hilarious:
In the top of the 4th, Ferrell stepped to the plate for the Cubbies and the Angels modified their infield a bit to cater to the comedian's tendency to, um, not be able to pull the ball:
Turns out their alignment didn't matter, though, as Ferrell was sat down on strikes
Cincinnati Reds at Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick was interrupted when the D-backs aquired Will Ferrell for a pair of culinary masterpieces:
Ferrell hustled out to left field, but found time to chow down on one of those beauties himself:
Ferrell again put the arm on display in the top of the 7th (TWICE) as Ivan De Jesus Jr. tripled out to left field and Kyle Skipworth followed with a double.
When his time with the D-backs was over, Ferrell thanked the fanbase by buying hot dogs for an entire section of the stadium:
The Ferrell era of D-backs baseball ended when the club placed him on waivers. Chief Baseball Officer for the D-backs, Tony LaRussa, was less than impressed with Ferrell's performance and seemed glad to be rid of the headache.
The Reds -- in apparent need of a third baseman -- claimed Ferrell and released outfielder/comedian Norm MacDonald to make room on the roster. Ferrell wasted no time in making himself right at home in the visitors' dugout:
After manning the hot corner for the Reds in the eighth, Ferrell was granted his unconditional release. He didn't waste much time en route to his next destination:
San Francisco Giants at Chicago White Sox was all but over when the man of the hour arrived ... in center field ... via helicopter.
After landing on the field in full uniform -- including helmet and batting gloves -- Ferrell stepped to the plate for his only at-bat with the White Sox and ... MADE CONTACT! (It was a foul ball.)
The at-bat ended in a whiff and Ferrell was immediately dealt to the Giants, where he took Buster Posey's usual spot behind the dish.
Is Will Ferrell the first player in history to strike out and then get behind the plate in the same half-inning? #FerrellTakesTheField- MLB (@MLB) March 13, 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres was in the seventh inning at Peoria Sports Complex when Dodgers manager Don Mattingly called on an aging righty looking to throw one last helping of cheese. He brought Will Ferrell in out of the bullpen.
"Have you heard of a slurge? I threw that in Japan." - Will Ferrell. #FerrellTakesTheField- MLB (@MLB) March 13, 2015
It didn't take long for him to get out of the jam:
After making the out, the Padres' Rico Noel admitted that he "might have a grudge for a little bit."
Noel would have to learn how to deal with that grudge because Ferrell then finished his illustrious MLB career in the only place that makes sense ... San Diego (it's Spanish for "an old, old wooden ship"). No one was more excited than Padres head trainer Todd Hutcheson, who dressed as Buddy the Elf for the occassion.
For those of you keeping score at home, Ferrell spent time on the Athletics, Mariners, Angels, Cubs, D-backs, Reds, White Sox, Giants, Dodgers and Padres during his brief but exhausting MLB career.
All told, Ferrell went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts, fielded the baseball five times (three times in left for the D-backs, once in center for the Angels and once as a Dodgers pitcher). He threw one pitch and retired with an ERA of 0.00.
The privilege to bear witness probably left you good and satisfied, but if you'd like to donate to a good cause and own a piece of baseball (and comedy) history, game-used items will be up for auction at MLB.com, with proceeds being donated to Stand Up to Cancer and Cancer for College.