Growing up, I was a HUGE fan of the MLB all-star game. I looked forward to it every year, and when it finally came around it was not just a game but an event. My dad and I would order pizza and have a few of my friends over and watch the game.
We even would bet money on who's favorite players would do more! However, in 1993 something happened that I will never forget.
John Kruk - Now a love able oaf on the Four Letter Network of Doom, Kruk used to be a terrifying oaf to opposing pitchers. Many a summer's day in 1993 saw Kruk's curly mullet shimmering in the sun as he sent balls flying into the bleachers. Pitchers didn't know how to combat a man who had already faced a man's worst fear (losing a testicle) and won!
Randy Johnson - As intimidating as he is ugly, Johnson was mowing through hitters. With a fastball that sat in the high 90s and (arguably) the nastiest slider in the game, The Big Unit racked up strikeout victims at an astounding rate.
Oh, and he matched Kruk mullet for mullet. If only he could curtail those few wild pitches that would come out every so often...
July 13, 1993 - Oriole Stadium at Camden Yards, Maryland
With two outs in the top of the third inning, big John stepped up to face Johnson having already struck out once in the game. Many NL lefties were said to be chomping at the bit to hit off the vaunted Johnson, but Kruk was not one of them.
He knew deep down in his heart that he stood no chance. Slightly unprofessional (not to mention cowardly)? You bet. Accurate? Ab. So. Lutely.
First pitch is 98 miles per hour...and about a foot over Kruk's helmet. Kruk calmly stepped out...and proceeded to look like he just crapped his pants in front of the entire nation. Most people think Kruk was feigning a heart attack but a part of me thinks it was no fake.
Remember, Kruk was a large man who was known for partying, so you know his heart wasn't in tip top shape. Christ, the fittest man in the world would have a bum ticker after having to put up with Lenny Dykstra and Darren Daulton on a day to day basis.
Kruk inches back into the box (think Henry Rowengartner's sole at-bat in Rookie of the Year) and proceeds to flail at two more pitches before happily returning to the dug out. It's the first time I can remember seeing an athlete show such a humble, admittedly weak side of himself.
It was refreshing. And hilarious.
Follow Up Funny Moments:
Johnson - Four years later doing the same thing to Larry Walker, forcing Walker to hit from the right side (Walker is not a switch hitter).
Kruk - Being struck out by a girl.