In a long, 162-game MLB season, players have to battle physical and emotional exhaustion the best they can as they try to stay focused from March until October. So what better way to break up the monotony than by pranking the hell out of an unsuspecting teammate… or a coach?
While a power hitter in the middle of the lineup or a No. 1 pitcher at the top of the rotation is great, a player who can keep the team loose by pulling pranks can go a long way in building team morale.
Over the years, there have been some good ones, too—which is why we’re tipping our New Era caps to these first-ballot pranksters.
5. Joe Carter
A former All-Star outfielder who’s best-known for hitting the game-winning, walk-off home run in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series to give the Toronto Blue Jays the title, Joe Carter had his fair share of epic pranks, too.
Carter’s most memorable joke was on then Blue Jays teammate Derek Bell, who was a rookie for Toronto in 1992.
During Fan Appreciation Day, Carter had announced to Jays fans that the team would be “giving away” a car. Little did anyone know that the ride would be Bell’s, though, as Carter and a teammate drove onto the field in the green SUV. This left a priceless reaction from Bell.
4. The El Paso Chihuahuas
There probably aren’t too many of us who know much about the El Paso Chihuahuas, who are the Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres. But, as they proved in 2014, the entire team was a band of pranksters who pulled off one of the most classic tricks in baseball history.
After former MLB outfielder Jeff Francoeur joined the team, his teammates not only convinced him into believing that pitcher Jorge Reyes was deaf, but they actually were able to keep the joke going for an entire month!
Even after there were a few signs that Reyes wasn’t, in fact, hearing impaired, Francoeur was incapable of catching on, finally being told that he had just been fooled by his crafty mates.
3. Ken Griffey Jr.
One of the game’s best sluggers ever and a first ballot Hall of Famer, Ken Griffey Jr. became the face of a generation for this play during the ’90s, finishing as one of the best players in history.
It was his prank on former Seattle Mariners manager Lou Piniella that earns him our praise here, though.
After losing a bet with Piniella where Griffey had to pay for his skipper’s steak dinner, Junior did Sweet Lou dirty, delivering an entire cow into his office rather than just a slab of meat on a plate.
A noted prankster throughout his playing days, Ken Griffey Jr. was as lethal at jokes as he was at knocking the snot out of the baseball.
2. Ryan Dempster
Former pitcher Ryan Dempster had a solid MLB career, but ask anyone who ever played with the guy what he was a Hall of Famer at, and it’d be his ability to pull pranks.
On numerous occasions, the right-handed pitcher would catch his teammates off-guard and pull a quick one on them. But when the tables were turned, Dempster came back with vengeance—and Will Ohman was the poor victim of the best.
After trying to prank Dempster, Ohman found out how ruthless his fellow pitcher could be, as Dempster removed all four tires from Ohman’s car, getting both the team’s bullpen coach and opposing team involved as he went on a scavenger hunt to track down each wheel.
Hailed as the “funniest guy on earth” by his teammate after the prank, it’s easy to see why Ryan Dempster fits the billing.
1. Brett Myers
Sure, this was a perfectly executed prank by the entire Philadelphia Phillies organization, but it was the brainchild of pitcher Brett Myers—and it’s the best thing you’ll hear all day.
Getting his manager, general manager and entire Phillies locker room involved, Meyers was able to convince fellow pitcher Kyle Kendrick that he had been traded to a team in Japan for a fake player named Kobayashi Iwamura and $1.5 million.
Hearing Kendrick talk to the media about the “trade” is just classic, as he’s taking the whole thing in stride, even laughing after being told that it was all just a mean joke.