The Baseball Hall of Shame: The Best of Blooperstown

As baseball historians of the offbeat, Bruce Nash and Allan Zullo produced their latest zany tribute to the major leagues —The Baseball Hall of Shame: The Best of Blooperstown. Here in one gut-busting book for fans of all ages, the authors pay tribute to more than 100 years of the major league’s battiest batters, craziest mental miscues, silliest ballpark promotions, screwiest fan behavior and much, much more. It features the best of the authors’ previous five Baseball Hall of Shame books plus all new inductees through the 2011 season.

Among the inglorious immortals: Pitcher Burleigh Grimes, who was so mean that he threw a beanball at the on-deck hitter… New inductee Ken Griffey Jr., who paid off a bet for a steak dinner by sneaking a cow into manager Lou Piniella’s office… Outfielder Ping Bodie, who out-ate Percy the ostrich for the spaghetti-eating championship of the world… New inductee Manny Ramirez, who abandoned left field to go to the bathroom during a game… Lou “The Mad Russian” Novikoff, who insisted his wife taunt him from the stands because he believed it made him a better hitter… and new inductee David “Big Papi” Ortiz, who suffered payback for the pranks he pulled on teammates when he unwittingly donned underwear smeared with peanut butter.

Filled with more than 200 stories and packed with dozens of photos, The Baseball Hall of Shame: The Best of Blooperstown is a fitting and hilarious testament to the Hall’s motto: “Fame and shame are part of the game.”

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One of the most elaborate pranks in baseball history had young Philadelphia Phillies hurler Kyle Kendrick convinced that he had been traded to a Japanese team and would have to catch an early-morning flight to his new country. The devious practical joke was masterminded by veteran pitcher Brett Myers, who pulled it off during spring training in 2008 with the help of several people, including manager Charlie Manuel. You can read all the hilarious details of how Kendrick was punked, beginning on Page 83 of The Baseball Hall of Shame: The Best of Blooperstown.