50 of the Funniest Moments in Baseball History
The lighter side of baseball is part of what makes it so great. Every sport has its share of funny moments, but the antics involved with baseball take on a different tone since they can surface in so many different ways.
It could be a spring training prank, trade deadline duping, rain delay fun or the all too common postgame shaving cream pie.
Other funny moments are less intended. Manager blow ups, absurd superstitions, dugout tirades and dismal base running are all things that we as fans can sit back and laugh at.
With that, here are 50 of the funniest moments in baseball history.
Being the Butt of a Joke Has Its Perks, Like a Getting a New Car
Cubs strength coach Tim Buss wasn't a happy camper when he saw the damage that had been done to his car during spring training in 2008.
The car was destroyed: all windows broken, sides dented, and the bats and balls that were seemingly the tools used were left on the vehicle.
He suspected a number of pitchers, who obviously denied the implications. Then after practice with Buss continuing to stress over the situation, the players (led by Ryan Dempster) owned up to the crime..and showed him his new Nissan Xterra.
Bobby Valentine Returns to Dugout in Disguise After Ejection
One of the more hilarious acts by a MLB manager comes to us courtesy of Bobby Valentine.
During a game against the Toronto Blue Jays in June 1999, Valentine was ejected after arguing a catcher's interference call.
Rather than catch the remainder of the game from the clubhouse, Valentine put on a fake mustache and street clothes and returned to the dugout in disguise.
The Commissioner's office didn't see the humor of his act, suspending him $5,000 for making a return after the ejection.
Ron Washington's Attempt at the Running Man
After watching the Texas Rangers in postseason play over the past two seasons, we've had many chances to see Ron Washington in all his glory.
He's one of the more animated managers in baseball and isn't afraid to show it when he's caught in the heat of the moment.
The Cup on the Cap Prank
Placing a bubble on top of a player's cap isn't an uncommon occurrence, but others choose to take it further.
White Sox third base coach Jeff Cox fell victim to this prank as he was given a little something extra on his helmet prior to the game, and presented the lineup card to the umpires none the wiser.
Gerald Laird Gets "Arrested" During Spring Training
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Jerry Hairston Jr. played one of the cruelest jokes on catcher Gerald Laird during the spring of 2007, even getting approval from Rangers manager Ron Washington before doing so.
Hairston arranged for two police officers to show up in the clubhouse and issue a warrant for Laird's arrest on charges of unpaid child support.
Laird lost it as the officers cuffed him, removed him from the clubhouse and even placed him in the back of the squad car before those in on the prank would finally come clean.
Jesse Orosco's Prank Rubs Kirk Gibson the Wrong Way
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When a player is new to a team, you have to think there's an increased chance that you'll fall victim to some sort of hijinx.
Kirk Gibson's arrival in Los Angeles in 1988 was no exception. During spring training, Dodgers pitcher Jesse Orosco smeared eye black all around the inside of Gibson's batting helmet.
As Gibson began to sweat in the hot sun the blackened drops ran down his face. To put it lightly - he wasn't happy, storming off the field, yelling "No wonder this team finished fourth last season."
Do NOT Try to Outprank Ryan Dempster
Keeping in mind the first slide of this piece where Ryan Dempster demolished a coach's vehicle as a prank, you'd have to think he's the last person you'd mess with.
Will Ohman learned this the hard way after attempting to prank Dempster by going crazy with some eye black and gluing his clothes together.
Dempster once again got involved with the automotive side of things, removing all four tires from Ohman's brand new Denali and placing them in strategic locations including a bathroom stall and the team showers.
LaTroy Hawkins Gets a Handful
Of all the people in the world to be duped by, Milwaukee Brewers reliever LaTroy Hawkins was had by professional bass fisherman Alton Jones.
Jones claimed that sprinkling salt and pepper on whipped cream a chemical reaction would be caused, heating the whipped cream.
Somehow, Hawkins believed him.
Jorge Posada Does WHAT to His Hands?
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I'm not sure if this is funny or gross but the fact that Jorge Posada (and apparently other players) purposely urinate on their hands in attempt to prevent their hands from getting callused and cracking just seems off.
Maybe it's just me, but I'm pretty sure you can buy lotions that do the same thing.
The SI Curse, as Started by Eddie Mathews
I've never been one to believe in curses, so I tend to find any reference to them humorous.
The notion that appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated is bad luck began when the magazine itself did, with Braves third baseman Eddie Mathews appearing on the front of the first issue.
Matthews broke his hand just a week after the release of the issue, thus starting the so-called curse.
Padres Rookies Don the Hooters Outfits
It's becoming increasingly clear that being a rookie in major league baseball is a tough gig.
In this case, San Diego Padres rookies were lucky enough to swap their uniforms for those of the famous Hooters waitresses.
This wasn't a brief photo opportunity either as the unlucky victims wore the outfits on the team's flight to Washington D.C. and continued to sport their new digs as they went out for dinner.
Luis Castillo Gets Bubble Gummed
While playing with the New York Mets, Luis Castillo fell victim to this all-too-common prank, as piece after piece of gum made it's way onto his cap.
When he finally retreated to the clubhouse and noticed it as he passed by a mirror he was not at all amused.
You'd think he'd only have himself to blame for failing to notice that 20 pieces of gum and a cup made their way onto the top of his head.
Smurf and Smurfette Form Unusual Pitching Battery
These members of the Washington Nationals certainly felt a certain amount of embarrassment as they found themselves resembling the Smurfs.
Pitcher Stephen Strasburg and catcher Wilson Ramos really seemed to own their new roles, as the battery made quite the couple as Papa Smurf and Smurfette.
After seeing the Padres rookies, you'd have to think this is the lesser of two evils.
The Shaving Cream Pie Celebration
In what is probably one of the most common post-game celebrations in baseball today, player after player finds himself on the receiving end of a shaving-cream facial after getting a game-winning hit.
Most will attest to the fact that it burns when it gets in your eyes, but since it typically means you've done something great to help your team, it's well worth the pain.
The Frank Viola Banner
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Frank Viola was arguably the best pitcher the Minnesota Twins had throughout the 80s, as he won many decisions and played a big part in the team's 1987 World Championship.
Based on Viola's superstition, a certain fan may deserve a part of that credit. After noticing that he won all of his decisions during the 1987 season in which a banner reading "Frankie Sweet Music Viola," Viola reached out to the fan upon learning he didn't have World Series tickets.
He provided the fan with tickets to his starts in Games 1 and 7, both of which he won en route to a World Series ring and MVP honors.
Ryan Braun's Baserunning Isn't Soon Forgotten
Ryan Braun is the unquestioned leader of the Milwaukee Brewers, but I'm going out on a limb here and saying teammates may not want to follow his lead when it comes to base running.
As if it wasn't enough for him to repeatedly see his base running error on TV, his teammates were kind enough to mark the scene of the crime for him.
Darren McCollester/Getty Images
Given Dustin Pedroia's minimal stature, you wouldn't think he'd be the first one to pull a fast one on David Ortiz.
That wasn't the case, though, as Pedroia would tell Ortiz that an RBI he earned during the game was removed at the discretion of GM Theo Epstein in an effort to reduce his statistics.
Being that it was a contract year, Ortiz was infuriated, even interrupting manager Terry Francona's press conference to vent his frustration.
Kiki Cuyler Is Traded, over a Superstition?
Pirates outfielder Kiki Cuyler batted third in the lineup. Period. The superstition preventing him from moving to the No. 2 spot as Pirates manager Donnie Bush wanted was enough to get him suspended from the team, just before the World Series which they would lose to the Yankees.
He was traded to the Cubs that November.
Introducing Nyjer Morgan. I Mean, Tony Plush. I Mean, Tony Gumbo.
Nyjer Morgan certainly gave the Milwaukee Brewers a new element of personality when he came over from the Washington Nationals this spring.
As we see in this video, he apparently also brought Tony Plush and Tony Gumbo along with him.
Yankee Fan Enjoys Some Free Food at Target Field
You can't really blame this Yankees fan for wanting to give the pork chop on a stick at Target Field a try.
But he could've at least bought his own.
A New Variation of the Icy-Hot Jock
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Icy Hot in the jock strap is one of the oldest tricks in the book. But it was taken to another notch at the expense of Adam Piatt.
After dishing out his share of pranks, his Oakland teammates thought it'd be time for some payback.
They loaded up parts of Piatt's clothing, including underwear, with Icy Hot, right before hopping on a flight.
Mike Trout Gets His Name (and Unfortunately His Number) out There
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When you're a rookie, you speak when spoken to. At least that's the way Angels pitcher Jared Weaver looked at things when Mike Trout spoke out of turn during manager Mike Scioscia's team meeting.
As a punishment, Weaver had Trout's cell phone number displayed on the scoreboard multiple times during the game.
It's not known exactly how many of the roughly 3,000 people on hand gave Trout a jingle, but nevertheless, his number was changed after the incident.
Young Rangers Fan Has No Love for His Brother
Philadelphia is known as the city of brotherly love.
Apparently that's not the case in Arlington, Texas, as sibling rivalry rears its ugly head here when this young Rangers fan offers a bounty for any player who is able to bean his brother with a home run ball.
Luis Gonzalez Pranks Clubhouse Staff
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Most pranks are directed at particular individuals who have either done something to break an unwritten team rule, or are rookies.
That wasn't the case in Florida as Luis Gonzalez took the initiative to fill jelly donuts with mustard, allowing any takers to fall victim.
After a member of the clubhouse staff tasted one of the tainted donuts, the bakery that provided the donuts was called out.
Billy Ray Rojo Johnson
Venezuelan pitching star Billy Ray Rojo Johnson's baseball career in America was quite short, as he made just one appearance, in fact one pitch, with the Round Rock Express.
He may be onto something with his replacing of the rosin bag behind the mound with a plastic bag full of beer, though.
Dont Leave Trot Nixon Alone with Your Luggage
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During a Boston Red Sox road trip to Texas, Trot Nixon was feeling especially evil when he took the time to super-glue Kevin Youkilis' luggage shut, eventually prompting him to have team personnel pry it open.
Tarp Sliding Is a Great Way to Pass the Time
Sliding on tarps during rain delays isn't anything new, but it certainly does help players pass the time during the delays and gives the fans that stick around some entertainment while they await restarts.
Apparently, it's not always welcomed.
During a rain delay in a game with the Toronto Blue Jays, White Sox starter Mark Buerhle took to the tarp and gave it a couple slides towards the dugout from the outfield.
The next day it was noted that Buerhle was fined for his actions, likely because the White Sox wouldn't want to lose their ace to an injury caused by a tarp.
Overweight Ump Is Taunted with a Third-Base Burger
Seldom are umpires the target of game-day pranks, but that was the case as former umpire Eric Gregg routinely found teams delivering food his way.
At one point, a member of the St. Louis Cardinals sent him a five-pound sandwich of cold cuts before a game.
The Cardinals weren't the only culprit, as the New York Mets once had a five-foot sub delivered to his locker room.
But even that couldn't top the time in St. Louis in which a hamburger was placed atop third base during a game in which he was stationed at the base.
The Three Man Lift
The three man lift is a seemingly annual spring training tradition where rookies are entangled next to each other and a player subsequently attempts to lift them, or so they think.
These guys have to know what's really coming, don't they?
Big Papi Finds a Little Something Extra in His Underwear
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Again, I can't understand how a guy as massive as David Ortiz would be the target of a teammate's prank, but that didn't stop Twins third baseman Corey Koskie from taking Big Papi to task.
Koskie filled Ortiz's underwear with peanut butter and placed it in his locker, and somehow it went unnoticed until Ortiz had fully dressed.
Kelly Johnson's New Walk-Up Theme Song
Many pranks are centered around clubhouses and spring training, leaving fans in the dark.
Every once in awhile however fans are lucky enough to enjoy the humor of these situations.
That was the case here as Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Kelly Johnson came up to bat, only to hear that his at-bat theme song had been changed to "It's Raining Men."
Every Penny Counts
You can't knock Ken Griffey Jr. for paying a debt to a teammate. Owing Reds teammate Josh Fogg $1,500, Griffey Jr. made sure to leave the payment in Fogg's locker.
It must've been a heavy trip to the bank for Fogg as Griffey Jr. paid him in pennies...150,000 of them.
Joe Carter Gives Teammate's Car to Fan
During Fan Appreciation Day in Toronto it was announced that one lucky fan would be winning a car being brought onto the field by Joe Carter.
Teammate Derek Bell's expression is priceless as he realizes that the car being "given away" is none other than his very own.
Bert Blyleven is one of the all-time great goofballs, as displayed by his choice of T-shirts.
He also perfected the art of the hot foot, a prank that gets lots of laughs in the dugouts, and absolutely shouldn't be mimicked by any little leaguers out there.
Here we see a Detroit Tigers pitcher victimizing Don Kelly with the hot foot during a game at Target Field.
Wally Backman Blows a Gasket
***WARNING: Explicit Content***
I can't speak to Wally Backman's fiery nature during the rest of his managerial career, but I find it odd that on a day when he just happens to be miked up for a game he unleashes one of the most brutal tirades in baseball history.
White Sox GM Gets in on the Fun
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When the trade deadline approaches, players are understandably on edge as they could be shipped out at any moment.
That was the case for Gordon Beckham, as his name was brought up in a number of rumors leading up to deadline day.
Just minutes before the deadline, White Sox GM Kenny Williams called Beckham, who was fearing the worst, into manager Ozzie Guillen's office.
Williams shut the door and delivered the news...he liked his at-bat the day before.
Even Umps Can Have Some Fun
While they often take the brunt of criticism from players, managers and fans, umpires can also share in lighthearted moments.
Mock sword fighting with a splintered bat probably isn't the safest thing for an ump to do, but I'm guessing the Giants bat boy isn't going to argue with former Marine Laz Diaz.
Ken Griffey Jr. Gives Lou Pinella a Steak Dinner, and Then Some
As we've already seen, Ken Griffey Jr. pays off his debts.
During his time with the Mariners, manager Lou Piniella won a wager with Griffey Jr.
He was supposed to repay the debt with a steak dinner, but he took that to an extreme, as Piniella found out when he entered his office.
Halladay and Burnett Give Teammates a Flyover
In what has to be one of the most elaborate and expensive pranks conceived, Blue Jays pitchers Roy Halladay and A.J. Burnett found their targets in Russ Adams and Aaron Hill.
During warmups of a spring training game, a plane hired by the two flew over the stadium with a sign reading "Russ, will you marry me, Aaron."
They weren't done there, though, as they had an entire wedding reception waiting in the clubhouse and covered both players' vehicles with full "Just Married" decor.
Twins Players Take Up Fencing in Free Time
The Twins didn't do much hitting this past season, as they struggled to score runs and lost 99 games, the most in nearly 30 years.
You'd have to think if they spent more time practicing and less time fencing with baseball bats, it could've been different.
Pedro Gets Taped to Pole
After seeing and hearing Pedro Martinez's behavior on and off the mound, you can hardly blame Nomar Garciaparra for wanting to take this action to keep the Red Sox ace in line.
Tim Hudson Scares the Life out of Former Teammate
Taking a practical joke to the hotel room is a dangerous (and hilarious) proposition.
Tim Hudson goes for the all-out fear factor as he dresses up in a costume resembling the killer from the "Scream" movies and hides in catcher Eddie Perez's room.
Perez's reaction is priceless, as it's clear that he truly did fear for his life for a second or two.
Angry Fan Mails Chickens to Mets Owner
When most fans get upset about something, be it a play, player, manager or umpire, they boo them.
New York Mets fan Martin Silver took his displeasure with the team's decision to fire Willie Randolph to a new level as he had five chickens mailed to team owner Fred Wilpon.
Silver later clarified his actions:
"They are chickens for doing this, the way they did it. I decided sending chickens was the best thing."
Steve Lyons Drops His Pants at First Base
After beating out a play at first base, Steve Lyons somehow manages to forget that he's in the middle of a baseball stadium and drops his pants to clean out the dirt.
Luckily, he quickly catches onto the fact that he's not alone. Embarrassment ensues.
Casey Janssen Has Way Too Much Time on His Hands
Dave Sandford/Getty Images
In another display of a player having way too much time on his hands, Casey Janssen got really creative in his open-ended prank as he actually took the time to remove the cream from an entire jar of Oreos and filled them with toothpaste.
The Big Unit Takes out a Bird
Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I can't even imagine what the odds are of this occurring.
Brian Wilson Tees off on Gatorade Cooler
Closers are passionate about their job. They come into the game during the most heated of situations and everything rests on their shoulders.
Keeping that in mind, you can't blame them for getting a little peeved when they blow a save.
Combine a blown save with Brian Wilson's insanity, and you've got a lethal combination.
A Terrible Waste of Beer
This Cubs fan had the right idea, but gets an F for execution.
Wasting beer is a terrible thing, wasting a $8 beer is unacceptable, and I can only assume that guy feared for his life after realizing what he did.
Nate McLouth Gets No Love After Hitting Walk-Off HR
When it comes to positive emotions for baseball players, it probably can't get much better than the feeling of hitting a walk-off home run in extra innings.
Seeing your teammates flock to home plate awaiting your arrival is the ultimate affirmation of what you've done for your team.
Nate McLouth, unfortunately, wouldn't know anything about that as he reached home plate after hitting a walk-off home run in the Braves 10th inning win over the Phillies, only to find no one there, no one in the dugout, no one in sight.
Kyle Kendrick Is Traded for Japanese Hot Dog Eating Champ
There really isn't much to say here other than that this has to be one of the best pranks in baseball history.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel does a great acting job in making Kyle Kendrick truly believe he's on his way out the door.
The feeling of being traded can't feel good, especially when you think you're headed to the other side of the world.