As Texas Rangers backstop Mike Napoli recently learned the hard way, Major League Baseball is full of pranksters. Therefore, it's no surprise that a group of St. Louis Cardinals celebrated April Fools' Day by having some fun with one of their teammates.
The prank went down after the second inning of a spring training game between the defending champion Cards and the Washington Nationals. Sitting in the dugout as he continues his rehabilitation from Tommy John Surgery that cost him the entire 2011 season, Adam Wainright listened as the public address announcer at Roger Dean Stadium revealed that a fan would be winning a car.
Meanwhile, Cardinals outfielder Lance Berkman had driven a white pickup truck out onto the field from the left-field fence. The only problem? The 2009 Chevy Silverado that was being given away belonged to Wainwright. The fan with the "winning" ticket rushed down to the field, along with his son, and hopped in the back of the truck before Berkman drove it off the field.
Wainwright did a double-take his truck drove onto the field but, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Dispatch, he moved to the back of the dugout rather than provide a dramatic reaction.
''As long as that's a joke, that is well done,'' Wainwright told The Associated Press. ''I don't know if that's a joke, yet.''
According to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, the "fan" who was awarded Wainwright's truck was a relative of World Series hero David Freese. The third baseman grew up in the suburbs of St. Louis and etched his name in Cardinals' history with a superlative postseason performance that earned him MVP honors in the 2011 World Series.
"Hilarious," Wainwright later said of the practical joke. "Those are the kinds of things that keep baseball pretty fun — besides the fact that baseball is already pretty fun."