#4. Pedro Martinez
Claim to infamy: Used a lucky dwarf to win the World Series
Story: Historically, baseball players are superstitious beings. They never talk to the pitcher during a no-hitter. They jump over the baselines when taking the field. But in 2004, the year the Red Sox won the World Series, Martinez took baseball's superstitious lunacy one hilariously, crazy step further by posing for photographs while holding Nelson de la Rosa, a 2-foot actor who befriended the pitcher in the same way a gardener might hold a lucky garden gnome.
But here's the thing about Pedro's lucky dwarf: After the 2004 season, Martinez left Boston for free agency and joined the New York Mets. We don't know how they do it in the Dominican Republic, but on the mainland, when we leave one team for another, we pack our lucky dwarfs and take them with us. Now, Pedro is with the Mets and the poor, abandoned dwarf has since passed on to that big goldmine in the sky. Doctors claim it was heart failure caused by the dwarf's condition. But, we know the sad truth: He died of a broken, little dwarf heart.
#3. Pittsburgh Pirates mascot, Pirate the Parrot
Claim to infamy: Involved in the baseball drug scandal of 1985
Story: This is why we all go to the ballpark-to eat some hotdogs, watch some baseball and maybe score a little cocaine off the fuzzy mascot between innings.
The Pittsburgh drug trials of 1985 opened the country's eyes that maybe, just maybe, ballplayers weren't the milk-drinking, vitamin-taking, All-American boys we thought they were. Among the revelations that came out of the court testimony was that Keith Hernandez revealed nearly 40 percent of major leaguers were using cocaine. Tim Raines even claimed he kept a vial in his uniform pocket, taking care to slide into bases on his stomach so he wouldn't break it.
But of all the dirty laundry that aired, nothing tops the image of Pirate the Parrot walking around the ballpark stoned out of his mind, leading the youngsters in Take Me Out to the Ball Game while trying to make an extra buck in the bathrooms selling crank from a satchel tucked into his costume.
#2. Dock Ellis
Claim to infamy: Pitched a no-hitter while tripping on LSD
Story: While playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Ellis claimed he dropped acid with friends, only to learn he was scheduled to pitch against the Dodgers that afternoon. Some of us at CRACKED have admittedly done the same at part-time jobs flipping burgers at Wendy's, though at least when we did it, we weren't getting paid six figures and having it nationally televised.
We can only imagine what was going through Ellis' mind as he faced each batter. We'd like to think it was similar to the movie The Doors, when the naked Indian was following Val Kilmer around and miming vaguely mystical shit at him. There had to have been dozens of naked Indians in the ballpark that day-some telling him which pitch to throw, others scattered in the outfield shagging fly balls and a few flashing him signs from the dugout.
Despite the no-hitter, Ellis walked eight and hit one batter, allowing nine Dodgers to reach base-making it possibly the sloppiest no-hitter in baseball history. The implications are clear: Naked Indians caused by psychedelic hallucinations don't know shit about pin-point accuracy.
#1. Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson
Claim to infamy: Swapped families-wives, kids and dogs
Story: Free agency and trades are a part of baseball. But then there's this entry from our Dad of the Year files: In 1972, two New York Yankees pitchers, Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich, decided to swap their entire families. Kekich got Marilyn Peterson, a couple of kids and a poodle. Peterson came away from the deal with Susan Kekich, a couple of little Kekiches and a terrier. We're trying to imagine how Peterson broke the news to his son that he'd been lost to free agency: "Son, you've been a good son to this family. But daddy needs some strange. And, the hell of the coincidence is your Uncle Mike needs some strange, too. Now, this isn't the end for you, son. You're going to be an excellent son over at the Kekich household, and I expect you to be the same son over there that you were over here."
Peterson and the former Mrs. Kekich went on to marry and have four children of their own. Kekich and the former Mrs. Peterson never wed; some trades just don't work out. We assume all four Kekich-Peterson children involved in the swap went on to years of binge drinking and counseling, before acting out their lost childhoods in office shootings and failed relationships of their own.
Both dogs are probably dead.