Best MLB Pranks Ever
We’ve finally reached the month of April and Opening Night is just around the corner. Today will be a big day around many Major League camps. Scores of players, managers and coaches will fall victim to the dreaded April Fool’s Day prank! Although, when it comes to Major League Baseball players, every day might as well be April Fools' Day. As baseball fans, I think we’ve all heard some pretty great prank stories over the years. Personally, I think it shows that these guys are just like most of us—overgrown children!
Of course, I learned that the hard way a few weeks ago. If you don’t already know what I’m referring to, check out the video of Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki pulling a prank on me while I interviewed him out at Spring Training.
I’ll admit it, he got me REALLY good. But honestly, I can appreciate a good prank, even if I am the subject of repeated national humiliation! So in the spirit of the day, I’ve decided to make a list of my five favorite Major League Baseball pranks.
5. Hot Foot on Goose Gossage- This gag is an old classic where the victim has their shoelace or part of their shoe set on fire while they aren’t paying attention. Then you just wait for the hilarity to ensue when they realize they’re on fire. As usual, the old timers took it to the next level as Hall of Famer Goose Gossage says he once woke up on a charter flight to find that his foot had been set ablaze! Unbelievably dangerous, yet uncontrollably funny.
And it was great to see Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander carry on the hot foot tradition last July, setting teammate Don Kelly's right cleat aflame during a road game against the Minnesota Twins.
4. Gerald Laird Perp Walk- During Milwaukee Brewers Spring Training in 2007, Jerry Hairston, Jr. got two of his friends from the Police Department to issue a warrant and arrest Gerald Laird on fake unpaid child support charges. The officers led him out of the clubhouse in handcuffs and he was said to be in tears in the back of the squad car before Hairston finally let him in on the gag. That is almost just mean, but still hilarious.
3. Rare Steak for the Skipper- This one is great because it involves two iconic MLB figures. The story goes that Lou Piniella bet Ken Griffey, Jr. that he couldn’t hit a HR to left, center and right on consecutive swings. Loser would have to buy a steak. Griffey was unable to do it and thus had to pay up. And he did in the form of a live cow that he left in Piniella’s office for him! Oh, to see the look on his face when he walked into the office that day!
2. Huddy Brushes Back Eddie Perez- I love this one for obvious reasons, Tim Hudson is one of my favorite players and Eddie Perez provided veteran leadership on the Braves for man years. Also, this one was caught on tape, which is priceless. Perez is showing a camera crew around his hotel room and Hudson jumps out of his closet wearing the scream costume, scaring Eddie to the point where he needs time to catch his breath afterward. Then he finds out a bunch of other guys were in on it and were waiting outside the door for him, with Smoltz coming to his rescue with a big hug.
1. Kendrick Traded to Japan for Kobayashi- I already have to live with a Phillies fan, so this is hard for me to put them on top of any list of things I like, but this is almost unbeatable. Charlie Manuel sits Kyle Kendrick down and tells him he’s been traded to Japan for a player named Kobayashi. Kendrick is not only unbelievably calm, but he signs the papers despite the fact he looks like he’s seen a ghost. Then they hold a mock press conference where the reporters can’t even keep a straight face! Props to Kendrick for being a total pro, but even more props to Brett Myers for coming up with it and Charlie Manuel for being the main prankster!