It’s no secret that baseball attracts some characters. The quirky, the superstitious, the obsessed. So this post isn’t about the best players in the MLB, although some of these guys do make that list too. These are the most ridiculous baseball players in the game. From the stupid to the outrageous to the biggest personalities, you can’t forget these guys and their antics. Some of them were this crazy in public, while some were sneaky, absurd pranksters behind the scenes. Here are a few of our favorite stories about the most ridiculous MLB players of all time.
Let’s just start with the man, the myth, the legend himself. Rickey Henderson. This guy constantly referred to himself in the third person and spouted off great lines that may or may not have been jokes. In one infamous story (that Rickey himself admits is actually true), he caused the Oakland A’s accounting department to lose their minds when they discovered the books were off by $1 million. Turns out, Rickey had framed his $1 million bonus check instead of cashing it and hung it on a wall in his house! There are so many good ones, like the time Rickey fell asleep with an ice pack on his foot and got frostbite… in the middle of August.
Want another one? When Rickey boarded the San Diego team bus, he asked where he should sit. Another player said, “You have tenure, sit wherever you want.” Henderson looked at him and said, “Ten years? Ricky’s been playing baseball at least 16, 17 years!”
MITCH’S FOURTH PITCHER OF THE WEEK GOES TO GREG MADDUX. Greg Maddux is the first throwback pitcher of the week. Every 4th week the pitcher of the week will go an all time great. I couldn’t think of a better pitcher to begin this trend with than Greg Maddux. He is arguably one of the best pitchers of all time. Over his long career he collected 355 wins. He also collected quite a few awards. He was an 8x all star, a World Series champion (1995), 4x NL Cy Young winner, 18x gold glove winner, 3x mlb wins leader, and a 4x mlb era leader. He has his number (31) retired for both the Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Cubs. He was elected into the hall of fame in 2014. He was notorious for his accuracy and his simplified approach to getting hitters out. He only worried about making “good pitches.” Greg Maddux could place the ball wherever he wanted. So much intact that he faced 20,421 batters during his career and only 310 saw a 3–0 count. 177 of those were intentional walks. #gregmaddux #cubs #braves #pitching #pitchbault #pitcheroftheweek #training
Looks like an ordinary guy right? Maybe even a little nerdy? But according to teammates, Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux was that disgusting nightmare of a friend who constantly plays pranks. Chipper Jones called him a “dirtbag” and “one of the grossest guys I’ve been around in my life.” Maddux was known for his clubhouse pranks like spitting loogies on the ceiling and waiting for them to fall on innocent reporters and bystanders. Off the field, he’d sometimes rear end other players’ rental cars until the bumpers fell off. He spat tobacco juice everywhere, told ridiculous lies, put weird things in the team chili, and peed on rookies. Yeah, it’s true…
According to one ESPN story, he was known for this stuff when he went to the Padres too: “Maddux? For a guy with a CPA’s demeanor, he has a sense of humor that a 12-year-old would envy. Maddux is a master of strategically timed nose picking, sidling up to an unsuspecting rookie in the shower and urinating on the kid’s leg, and inventing just the right nickname for a teammate with big ears, a prominent schnozz, or some other pronounced physical qualities.”
OTD in 1972 New York @Yankees Sparky Lyle becomes the first reliever to come into a game with a signature entrance song when the Yankee Stadium PA system plays Pomp and Circumstance as the closer approaches the mound. Although the southpaw secures the last out of the team's 3-2 victory over Milwaukee,the New York relief pitcher feels the song, selected by PR man Marty Appel to signify the end of the game much as the Edward Elgar's march signals the end of an academic accomplishment, adds more pressure to his closer role and asks the public relations department to put the tradition on hold. #YankeesHistory #Yankees #SparkyLyle #PinstripePride #NYY #NYYankees #YankeeStadium #MLB #Bronxbombers #ChaseFor28 #StartSpreadingTheNews
Another prankster, this mustachioed New York Yankee was part of the feuding, turmoil-filled 1977 team that earned themselves the nickname “the Bronx Zoo.” Well, ‘ol Sparky had a penchant for cake-sitting. What’s that, you ask? Well, whenever a player’s birthday rolled around and the team or a fan sent them a cake, it would usually be left in the Yankees locker room. Mischevious Sparky would find it, pull down his pants, and sit in it – leaving an impression of his bare bum behind. This became so routine that players actually started hiding their cakes or getting them sent other places.
Sparky would also fill people’s toothpaste tubes with Vaseline, put live goldfish in the dugout water cooler, and order pizzas to the other team’s bullpen. He loved giving teammates “hotfoots” too – a trick that involves sneaking up behind a player, sticking a match in his shoe, and lighting it when the time is right, preferably while the player is speaking to a reporter so they yelp in the middle of an interview.
One of the best hitters in baseball (maybe ever), Manny Ramirez was known not only for his skills on the field, but his (mostly) lovable antics off the field. He was like nobody else in baseball and somewhere along the line, there was a phrase coined for his personality and plenty of funny stories about “Manny being Manny.” Even when we leave out the failed drug tests (he got busted for taking a women’s fertility drug) and faked injuries (to get out of games), there are lots more to laugh about…
While playing for the Red Sox, Manny would often walk into the Green Monster to, well, take a break – sometimes in the middle of games! He could be seen drinking Gatorade and talking on his cell phone behind the scoreboard. In one of Papi’s most endearing moments, after getting his American citizenship, he ran onto the field waving a little flag in celebration. But in his traditional style, he skipped the team’s visit to the White House and let Johnny Damon cover for him (twice). During a game in 2008, he caught a fly ball, ran up the wall, high-fived a fan, and then threw the ball in time to make the double play. His teammates say only Manny would do something like that…
He was also famously hot and cold with the press. Some days he’d be happy to chat with reporters and others he’d just look at them and say, “No Papi.” After a whole spring of refusing interviews in 2007, he made his first public appearance by posting a hilarious ad to sell a grill on eBay (it came with a signed baseball).
“I don’t remember anything.”
Ozzie Guillen on that time he got the White Sox job while battling an epic hangover: https://t.co/37vCt44hMO
— ESPN (@espn) May 17, 2016
We almost included Yogi Berra, but he wasn’t so much ridiculous as iconic when it comes to his famous quotes. Instead we’ve included Ozzie Guillen, who Bleacher Report calls “The R-Rated Yogi Berra.” This Venezuelan shortstop for the White Sox eventually became the manager of the team for several years, but perhaps he’s best known for being a complete wild card with no filter. The words that come out of his mouth – a mix of English, Spanish, and lots of cursing – make for an epic combination.
Ozzie often fought with umpires, but his most famous one-liner came when he earned a one-game suspension for bumping the ump with his ballcap and saying, “You’re not even a pimple on your daddy’s [butt]”
Wanna hear what he thinks about Wrigley Field? Ozzie says, “You’re going to take batting practice and the rats look bigger than a pig out there… I think the rats out there are lifting weights. I wish I could do something about it… The Governor of Chicago, please build another one because our fans are not stupid like Cubs fans. They know Wrigley Field is just a bar.”
One of the best Ozzie stories is the tale of his interview for the position of White Sox Manager. Ozzie had been partying at Ivan Rodriguez’s house, celebrating the Marlins’ World Series win before flying to Illinois to interview for the job. He overslept, almost didn’t go, and can’t remember a thing they talked about in the interview. He can’t even remember the restaurant where the interview took place… and got the job! What a guy!
On the other end of the “ridiculous” spectrum, you’ve got the most superstitious player in baseball. Pitcher Turk Wendell played for the Cubs, Mets, Phillies, and Rockies, and during those years he could be seen doing things like brushing his teeth in the dugout, chewing exactly four pieces of licorice before each inning he pitched, and leaping over the foul line. This guy had more than a few, um, quirks.
Among other strange habits, when pitching, Wendell made sure the umpire rolled the ball to the mound. If the ump accidentally threw it to him, Wendell would dodge it, let it go by, or let it bounce off his chest so he could retrieve it from the ground instead. Wendell had to wave to the center fielder and receive a wave in return before starting every inning. If the catcher stood, he had to squat. He also wore a sweet Flintstones-esque necklace made of the teeth and claws of animals he’d hunted and killed. Whew!
Finally, Wendell’s jersey number was 99 in honor of Charlie Sheen’s character in Major League. He even signed a contract with the Mets for $9,999,999.99 because apparently he said to his agent, ”If I could ever get all nines, let’s do it.”
Who’d we leave out of this list? Which players are more ridiculous?