Ken Griffey Jr. once hazed A-Rod in fantastically disturbing fashion
By the time Alex Rodriguez reached the big leagues with the Seattle Mariners in the 1994 season, Ken Griffey Jr. already was an established superstar and one of the leaders of the team. This apparently granted Griffey the right to haze the then-18-year-old in spectacularly hilarious but also somewhat disturbing fashion.
The story goes, as regaled in a profile of Griffey in Sports Illustrated covering his upcoming enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame, involved Mariners team leaders attempting to convince a wide-eyed and arguably gullible A-Rod that they were going into the stud business, as it were, which required the rookie to make a “donation,” in a manner of speaking.
The year before, he’d pulled a subtler prank on another teammate: Alex Rodriguez, then an 18-year-old rookie shortstop who, like Griffey, had been the top pick in the draft. Griffey enlisted Seattle’s trainer, Rick Griffin, to convince Rodriguez that the club’s stars—including Buhner and Randy Johnson—were involved in a scheme to sell their sperm to the highest bidder, as if they were thoroughbred stallions, and that Rodriguez might himself attract an appreciable stud fee. He brought in a fake doctor. “Dude, you got great genes,” Griffey told the rookie. The callow Rodriguez was skeptical at first. Then he started to come around. “How much money do you think we could make?” he asked. Griffey, mercifully, pulled the plug before donations were to be harvested. “Everybody has rookie hazing,” he says. “That was his.”
That has to be one of the more elaborate, albeit crudely conceived, pranks ever pulled to accomplish some rookie hazing. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed before A-Rod was convinced to go entirely through with it. Obviously.
Even more, it’s amazing that story has been kept under wraps for so long.