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Baseball season reminds me of a great practical joke

samzheresamzhere BannedPosts: 10,923 Senior Member
I grew up in KC and I root for the Royals accordingly, unless of course when they're playing the Astros. Then they can go suck. Royals got beat 6-1 with a fine Astros pitching and hitting performance last night (Mon 6/29), and tonight, Astros' ace Dallas Keuchel pitches, he of the Smith Bros beard. Astros have a left field corner called Keuchel's Korner where tickets include a fake beard and a t-shirt. Fun to see.

So hopefully the Royals will get squashed tonight and tomorrow evening, and then they can win the next 20 games straight with my blessings.

Anyway, watching the Royals reminded me of a practical joke that we played on a guy years ago.

I worked for an electronics company, inspector for Nasa and Air Force projects, and at the time, the original KC MLB team had been the Athletics, which traitor Charlie Finley bought and then moved to Oakland. So the Royals were a brand new expansion franchise, not a transfer team from another city. And the Royals mgt had said that they were actively signing local ballplayers with some minor league experience.

Well, our company had a slow pitch softball team for the city league, sponsored by KC parks and rec. I was equipment manager, meaning that I had to ensure that there was plenty of cold beer and snacks for the players, who would often play outfield with a beer can in one hand. To be generous, we were awful and were easily the worst team but we had lots of fun, which was what mattered.

So a new guy came to work for the company, worked in the shipping & receiving, a glorified inventory clerk. But he was very athletic and joined the team, and after a couple of games, he said that he wanted to be the manager. Our current "manager" didn't want to drive around with all the bats and baseballs, so he "resigned" and gave the post to this new guy.

Who, next "practice" showed up with a clipboard and whistle. A whistle.

He demanded that all players do PT and train hard, and "fined" them by ordering them to do pushup or take laps. He meant it, too, and was always yelling and cursing out the casual players, made them angry and took the fun out of the game.

I knew some guys at the KC Star newspaper and asked a favor. So...

A couple days went by and the "manager" received a letter from the KC Royals, on Royals letterhead and in a Royals envelope. The letter generally said:

That Royals scouts had been searching for new players and had watched his intense management style (for a pickup softball league in parks and rec? yeah, right) and his excellent fielding. And that the scouts also noted how rude the other players were to him, and that the scouts sympathized with his superb play despite the terrible attitude of the other players. And that the Royals couldn't promise a starting position in the lineup but after maybe a half season in triple A, he'd likely be called up. And so on, for him to appear at Royals' HQ office next Friday at 9am.

So the poor fool bought it hook, line and sinker. He went to his boss and quit his current job. The manager (we learned about this later) told him that he had a good employment record and that they'd hold his job for a week -- the boss suspected a prank but said nothing.

The guy came to us that morning, waving the letter under our noses "Ha! You guys are losers, and I'm gonna be a major league second baseman for the Royals. Lazy asses, you'll regret this!" and so on. And my buddy, who helped write the letter, said, "So maybe we can get some free tickets to see you play?" to which of course the guy sneered.

Friday morning, he went to the Royals HQ. He went with his mom and his girlfriend. Yes, his mom and girlfriend. And he took with him his spike shoes and glove and was essentially ready to take the field asap. We heard the story from the girlfriend's mom -- both the gf and mom worked the assembly line as cable routers and solderers.

The guy presented the letter and was really fired up. They sat there, all 3 of them, and after a while, the Royals' GM came out, and said "Son, someone's pulled a joke on you. We're scouting but only semipro ball. Have you ever played semipro ball?" No, he had not. The GM pointed to the signature, said "That's my name but not even a close copy of my signature."

So the GM, trying to be kind, offered the guy some opening day box seat tickets and said "If you get some semipro play under your belt, I promise we'll take a look at you, maybe in a couple years."

And the guy came back the next Monday and took his old job. And naturally, that morning, in the break room, he came in and we were all sitting there having a pre-work coffee, and my pal Gary asked "When's opening day?"

The guy cursed us all and stormed away. And every now and then, a copy of his "offer" letter would magically appear on the employee bulletin board.

One of the best practical jokes I've ever been involved in. Ah, the old days...

Replies

  • shushshush Senior Member Posts: 6,259 Senior Member
    Girly rounder's, not a joke.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,194 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    I grew up in KC and I root for the Royals accordingly, unless of course when they're playing the Astros. Then they can go suck. Royals got beat 6-1 with a fine Astros pitching and hitting performance last night (Mon 6/29), and tonight, Astros' ace Dallas Keuchel pitches, he of the Smith Bros beard. Astros have a left field corner called Keuchel's Korner where tickets include a fake beard and a t-shirt. Fun to see.

    So hopefully the Royals will get squashed tonight and tomorrow evening, and then they can win the next 20 games straight with my blessings.

    Anyway, watching the Royals reminded me of a practical joke that we played on a guy years ago.

    I worked for an electronics company, inspector for Nasa and Air Force projects, and at the time, the original KC MLB team had been the Athletics, which traitor Charlie Finley bought and then moved to Oakland. So the Royals were a brand new expansion franchise, not a transfer team from another city. And the Royals mgt had said that they were actively signing local ballplayers with some minor league experience.

    Well, our company had a slow pitch softball team for the city league, sponsored by KC parks and rec. I was equipment manager, meaning that I had to ensure that there was plenty of cold beer and snacks for the players, who would often play outfield with a beer can in one hand. To be generous, we were awful and were easily the worst team but we had lots of fun, which was what mattered.

    So a new guy came to work for the company, worked in the shipping & receiving, a glorified inventory clerk. But he was very athletic and joined the team, and after a couple of games, he said that he wanted to be the manager. Our current "manager" didn't want to drive around with all the bats and baseballs, so he "resigned" and gave the post to this new guy.

    Who, next "practice" showed up with a clipboard and whistle. A whistle.

    He demanded that all players do PT and train hard, and "fined" them by ordering them to do pushup or take laps. He meant it, too, and was always yelling and cursing out the casual players, made them angry and took the fun out of the game.

    I knew some guys at the KC Star newspaper and asked a favor. So...

    A couple days went by and the "manager" received a letter from the KC Royals, on Royals letterhead and in a Royals envelope. The letter generally said:

    That Royals scouts had been searching for new players and had watched his intense management style (for a pickup softball league in parks and rec? yeah, right) and his excellent fielding. And that the scouts also noted how rude the other players were to him, and that the scouts sympathized with his superb play despite the terrible attitude of the other players. And that the Royals couldn't promise a starting position in the lineup but after maybe a half season in triple A, he'd likely be called up. And so on, for him to appear at Royals' HQ office next Friday at 9am.

    So the poor fool bought it hook, line and sinker. He went to his boss and quit his current job. The manager (we learned about this later) told him that he had a good employment record and that they'd hold his job for a week -- the boss suspected a prank but said nothing.

    The guy came to us that morning, waving the letter under our noses "Ha! You guys are losers, and I'm gonna be a major league second baseman for the Royals. Lazy asses, you'll regret this!" and so on. And my buddy, who helped write the letter, said, "So maybe we can get some free tickets to see you play?" to which of course the guy sneered.

    Friday morning, he went to the Royals HQ. He went with his mom and his girlfriend. Yes, his mom and girlfriend. And he took with him his spike shoes and glove and was essentially ready to take the field asap. We heard the story from the girlfriend's mom -- both the gf and mom worked the assembly line as cable routers and solderers.

    The guy presented the letter and was really fired up. They sat there, all 3 of them, and after a while, the Royals' GM came out, and said "Son, someone's pulled a joke on you. We're scouting but only semipro ball. Have you ever played semipro ball?" No, he had not. The GM pointed to the signature, said "That's my name but not even a close copy of my signature."

    So the GM, trying to be kind, offered the guy some opening day box seat tickets and said "If you get some semipro play under your belt, I promise we'll take a look at you, maybe in a couple years."

    And the guy came back the next Monday and took his old job. And naturally, that morning, in the break room, he came in and we were all sitting there having a pre-work coffee, and my pal Gary asked "When's opening day?"

    The guy cursed us all and stormed away. And every now and then, a copy of his "offer" letter would magically appear on the employee bulletin board.

    One of the best practical jokes I've ever been involved in. Ah, the old days...

    That's a great one, Sam. Sounds like it couldn't have happened to a more well suited guy.

    And I agree about that Astros. They're kicking some serious butt this year. I remember back in the late 70s and early 80s when they had good teams. They were all about pitching. Winning low scoring games was the norm, especially in the dome.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    It is sad in a way, people like that have few freinds and successes, my fondest hope for them, is that they should learn from their mistakes and experiences and treat others better and thereby improve themselves.....
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    shush wrote: »
    Girly rounder's, not a joke.

    A practical joke of the highest order, I insist.

    For those who don't know, "Rounders" is an early Brit version of our US baseball and the Brits have claimed, maybe correctly, that they were the originators of the game's first elements. I'll give 'em that. The Yanks just perfected it.

    But I maintain that this was an elegant practical joke. I'll 'splain...

    Dumb practical jokes are things like pulling out somebody's chair when they try to sit down -- rude, stupid, and can be injurious. Thing is regarding similar pranks, like hiding and surprising someone or making something squirt in the person's face, ANYONE would be "taken" by this, and it does nothing to indicate the joke's theory.

    A REAL practical joke takes advantage of the person's failings and plays to them, so the "victim" is actually an actor in the joke and if the person were more sensible or judgmental, the joke would fail.

    Example: Were I, some years ago, when I was driving my 240Z like a madman, to receive a letter from Roger Penske Racing telling me that his scouts had been observing my driving style and they wanted to offer me a place on their team? If I quit my job and ended up at Penske Racing, helmet in hand? Dumb.

    Likewise that guy -- he bit on the bait due to hubris.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Very true, Haman of the bible was hanged on the very same gallows he had intended to hang Mordicai , true justice, hoist on his own petard, etc....
    People do lose out because of hubris and feet of clay, however, when an adulterous woman was caught in the very act, Jesus wrote something on the ground, he looked up and asked, woman where are your accusers? They are gone, neither do I acuse you, go your way and sin no more...

    Hopefully people that that can learn a valuable lesson and go their way, and sin no more....
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
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