Ken Griffey Jr. is a Seattle sports icon and will always be remembered for his sweet swing, his incredible glove work and that big smile of his.
The Seattle Mariners fan favorite wore his hat backwards during batting practice all the way until his career ended, one of his signatures.
He liked to joke, prank and have fun with his teammates and coaches alike. It’s no wonder how he got the famous nickname, “The Kid.”
Today I break down Junior’s Top 5 Pranks he pulled throughout his career.
#5 The Shirt Says It All
When Junior made his return to the Seattle Mariners in 2009, he vowed to show Ichiro‘s human side to the team as they all though of him as aloof. This prank started it all off. One day, when Griffey was approaching Ichiro to greet him, Ichiro’s face was one of shock and awe.
That’s because Griffey was wearing a T-shirt of himself with his arm around Ichiro’s wife.
#4 Dress Code Strictly Enforced
While preparing for a roadtrip, the Mariners boarded their plane. Junior waited for all the players to board before breaking out his box of goodies he smuggled on board.
He started handing out neckties to the team to wear. You wouldn’t think anything odd of it until the players inspected the ties they were handed.
Each tie was bright white and had one of two images on them. One had a stencil-like drawing of Ichiro’s face while the second had a drawing of Ichiro’s dog on it.
Hilarity ensued and Ichiro even tied his in a Windsor knot to wear over his batting practice jersey.
#3 Are You Nuts?!
In September 2009, Mariners then-third baseman Adrian Beltre took a ground ball to the man parts. It shouldn’t phase a baseball player that much, because you’re supposed to be wearing a protective cup, which Beltre wasn’t.
As Beltre walked to the plate for his first at-bat after he returned from his “injury,” the PA system was not blaring his normal plate music.
Instead, it was playing Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker Suite.”
It took seconds to figure out who arranged that one.
#2 Can You Spare Some Change?
Although this didn’t happen while he was with the Mariners, this is one of Junior’s best pranks. In 2008, while with the Cincinnati Reds, for some unknown reason, Griffey borrowed $1500 from pitcher Josh Fogg. And being a man of his word, he promptly repaid his debt…in pennies.
Fogg came to his locker to find 60 boxes containing 2500 pennies in each box at 16 pounds per box. Here’s Griffey’s explanation:
“I’m a man of my word. And when you owe a man $1,500, you pay him. And I’d like to thank the lovely people at National City Bank for helping me with this joke.
There isn’t a whole lot you can do with pennies.
Just think, each box weighs 16 pounds, so the man has 60 bowling balls in his locker.”
#1 One Hell of a Steak Dinner
During the preseason of the 1995 season, Lou Piniella made a wager with Junior during batting practice. The bet was the Griffey could not hit homeruns to left, center and right field on 3 pitches. Junior lost the bet and promised to pay up with the steak dinner they wagered.
And he did. Sweet Lou came to his office in the clubhouse one day to find a live cow waiting there for him, courtesy of none other than Ken Griffey Jr.
That counts as a steak dinner, right?
I wonder if the nickname Moo Piniella would’ve stuck that season…
The only available video footage I can find of this epic prank is #7 on this all-time pranks list.