A. J. Walkley, soon to be famous novelist, has culled the web to find the craziest
moments in baseball history. Thank you, Ali!
That famous pastime, baseball has a special place in the hearts of many Americans. There are the hot dogs and Cracker Jack; the wins and losses; the rivalries; the homeruns, no-hitters and perfect games; there are the streakers and the brawls. Throughout baseball history, there have been some wacky shenanigans that have taken place each year. It’s time we take a look back on some of the best:
1890: Former pitching great Cy Young was traded to the Cleveland Spiders for a men’s suit and $300.
1903: During the first World Series, the National League New York Giants manager John McGraw detested the American League commissioner, Ban Johnson, so much that he refused to allow the Giants to participate. Instead of forfeiting, he declared the Giants “world champions.” The American League champions – the Red Sox (or the Americans at the time) – didn’t buy it. The series ended up being canceled.
1912: Center fielder Ping Bodie took on Percy the Ostrich in a pasta-eating contest on April 3rd in Jacksonville, FL. Eleven plates of spaghetti in, the ostrich dropped, Ping downed the 12th plate and was declared the winner. The ostrich never recovered.
1962: Catcher Harry Chiti was traded to the New York Mets from the Cleveland Indians for a “player to be named later.” After batting .195 over the course of 15 games for the Mets, Chiti was sent back to the Indians as said “player to be named later” – essentially being traded for himself.
1970: Dock Ellis, while on the Pittsburgh Pirates, pitched a no-hitter while tripping on LSD.
1972: New York Yankees pitchers Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich swapped families. That’s right – they swapped wives, two kids and a dog each. Peterson and Kekich’s former wife married and had four kids of their own, while Kekich and Peterson’s former wife never ended up getting married.
1974: The Cleveland Indians held a Ten Cent Beer Night promotion during a game against the Texas Rangers on June 4th. The crowd became uncontrollable as a result of their massive alcohol intake, resulting in a forfeiture by Texas.
1979: Promoter and multiple team owner Bill Veeck ran the promotional event known as “Disco Demolition Night” on July 12th at Comiskey Park in Chicago where a crate filled with disco records was blown up in the center of the field. The promo went awry when rowdy fans surged onto the field and a riot nearly broke-out.Veeck is known for many more wacky promotions over the course of his career with baseball, including Grandstand Managers’ Day (fans determined the Browns’ strategy for bunting, stealing bases, changing pitchers, etc. by holding up placards with “Yes” on one side and “No” on the other – leading to a victory), sending a midget to the plate (3’7” Eddie Gaedel), installing the first exploding scoreboard (at the Chicago White Sox’s Comiskey Park) and introducing an avant-garde uniform (a pullover shirt over Bermuda shorts).
1992: Outfielder Joe Carter gave away Toronto teammate Derek Bell’s own car to a lucky fan on Fan Appreciation Day.
1999: New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine was ejected from a game against the Toronto Blue Jays after an argument with the umpire over an interference call. He then returned to the dugout in disguise after drawing on a fake mustache out of eyeblack and putting on sunglasses. The disguise wasn’t good enough – he was fined $5,000.
1999: Pitcher Kevin Brown of the LA Dodgers got so angry when someone flushed the toilet while he was taking a shower that he took a bat and smashed the toilet to pieces.
2005: Among the many pranks pitcher Ryan Dempster is known for while playing with lefty reliever Will Ohman for the Chicago Cubs is one in which he removed all four tires from Ohman’s brand new Denali and placed them in a bathroom stall and the team showers, among other places. Is it any wonder, considering Ohman had super-glued Dempster’s zipper open the day he was starting?
2006: Pitchers A.J. Burnett and Roy Halladay staged an elaborate prank on Blue Jays teammates Russ Adams and Aaron Hill during a spring training game – they hired a plane to fly by with a sign proclaiming “Aaron, Will You Marry Me? I Love You! Russ,” followed by a wedding reception in the clubhouse. They also covered both players’ cars with “Just Married” decorations.
2008: When Ken Griffey Jr. owed teammate Josh Fogg $1,500 while playing together on the Reds, he paid him back in 150,000 pennies left in his locker.
2012: When Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson learned that former Texas teammate Mike Napoli was looking forward to hitting home runs off of him in the coming season, he was so annoyed that he posted Napoli’s cell phone number to over 116,000 of his Twitter followers.
A. J. Walkley is the author of such titles as “Queer Greer” and “Choice”. You can find out what she’s up to next on her web site, www.ajwalkley.com or her blog, alisonwalkley.com Alison aka Ali aka A. J. is great to follow on Twitter @AJWalkley!
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