The Time Barry Bonds Called His Shot, And Other Great Heckling Stories

Illustration for article titled The Time Barry Bonds Called His Shot, And Other Great Heckling Stories

On Tuesday, we asked our readers to share their best heckling stories with us. You can read all of the stories here, but we've pulled a few of our favorites into a roundup. (Grain of salt, etc.) The one about Barry Bonds is amazing.


Jayson Werth is a wrestling fan, via Bobby Big Wheel:

My buddy is a huge Phillies fan who lives in DC. After Jayson Werth signed with the Nationals he got seats in right field and screamed at him for the whole game. As Werth took the field in the 6th inning he turned around to my friend and did the DGeneration-X suck it gesture, full bore.

Hideki Irabu likes to party, via FreemanMcNeill:

In 1997, Hideki Irabu was making the rounds through the minor leagues before his eventual call-up to the big club. On the occasion of his fourth minor league start, the rather large Irabu was pitching for the Yankees AA team, the Norwich Navigators. His opponent that evening was the AA Mets team, the Binghamton Mets. Until that point, Irabu hadn't lost in his minor league starts, but he hadn't exactly impressed either. That would change.

Irabu was lit up that evening in just under six innings. He let up five runs, five extra base hits, nine total hits, and took the loss. Even the balls that were outs were smoked hard. He had two basic pitches: straight and relatively straight. While he did hit the high-90s on the radar, it didn't help him much that evening. There were rumors before he came to town that Irabu was a bit of a drinker. My friends and I tested that theory, and coupled with some information from some Mets clubhouse guys we knew, we headed to the bar where we heard Irabu would be.

About an hour or so after the game, in walked Irabu, with a couple of guys in tow. One, I believe, was his interpreter, and I think the others were wranglers of some sort, to make sure he didn't step out of line, find trouble, or whatever. Irabu was not only a drinker, but a smoker as well. He starts ordering tall beers and firing down Marb after Marb. My friends and I start ordering shots and sending complimentary shots to him each time we did them. We'd toast him, loud enough for him to hear, saying, "Here's hoping you're worth the money" and stupid things like that. He'd raise his shot glass, hammer it down, force a smile, and keep drinking.

We kept this up for a while, but we'd also begun to pepper our toasts with more nefarious well-wishes. "Here's to your humongous fucking head!" was one of our toasts. In case you never saw it, Irabu's head was roughly the size of a portable gas can. Massive cranium on that guy. Another toast would follow, something like "Don't get lit up like that for the Yanks, fucko." Eventually, a very inebriated Irabu stopped smiling at us, and instead became surly. Shocker, I know. He stopped accepting our drinks, sending them back and outright refusing them, before finally stumbling out angrily.

The Big Show will snatch your pizza, via Zombie Chris Henry:

I'll file this under "sports entertainment" but it was the spring of 2000 and my friends (all 13 at the time) and I were at a card shop in Highland Park, IL to see Paul Wight better known as "Big Show" of the WWF. He was there to sign some autographs and whatnot. Anyway we were among the first in a really long line (like around the block long) to get some overpriced stuff signed. After we were done, we walked down the street and got a Lou Malnati's (the good stuff) pizza for lunch and came back to sit and eat outside of the shop. The crowd had long since died down and a few minutes later the event was over. Wight comes walking out and my one friend had to be a dick and yell "wrestling is fake" at him. This got his attention and when he approached where we were sitting, he looked down at us and challenged my friend to repeat himself. When he chose not to, Wight reached towards the table, took our pizza and left in his limo. I went without lunch that day.


The worst heckle ever, via outestines:

I was at the Buffalo bills home opener vs the Denver Broncos in '07. At halftime I was getting smashed in the concourse and wound up staying until after the second half kick-off. When I went to go back to my seat, which was many, many rows away, I noticed a Bronco down at the far end of the field with a large crowd around him. Being a Bills fan and drunk as fuck I proceeded to scream at the player to "shake it off" and that it was "just a stinger" and I had "seen it a million times". Hilarious stuff, some of my best. But as I stumbled towards my seat I began to notice horrible looks of disgust being thrown in my direction by Bills and Broncos fans alike. One irate women called me an asshole and told me to shut the fuck up, which was strange since we were both in Tasker jerseys (They retired his # that day). I soon noticed my buddy giving me the universal shut your yap sign, which I quickly shook off continuing my hilarious verbal assault. It wasn't until I finally reached my seat that my buddy explained what was going on. The guy on the field was Kevin Everett and he didn't have a stinger, in fact he was paralyzed from the neck down and fighting for his life. He had been on the field for 20 min at that point, thus explaining the looks and scorn I continued to get for the rest of the game.


Pat Burrell is The Machine, via GBoz:

There are lots of Pat Burrell stories and when I was living in South Philly, my roommate and I heard them all. One of our favorites was when he took my friend's uncle's former roommate's second cousin's landlord's 18 year old daughter home to his place in Rittenhouse Square and went to change. He came out in a gimp suit holding the rubber mask and handed it to the girl telling her to put it on. She obliged and when she looked up at him through the mask, he said "Are you ready to fuck Pat Burrell?"

Well we were at Citizens Bank Park standing by right field in Ashburn Alley where the best heckling in the world takes place (it's standing room right above the opponent dugout). Pat's throwing the ball around during warm ups and we're yelling "PUT ON THE MASK, PAT!" He turns around to look at us mid-throw, mouth agape and Victorino's toss hits him right in the small of the back.

Two years later, we find this out: What We Have Learned About Brian Wilson And The Machine (UPDATE)


Bode Miller is a nice dude, via treywilson:

I was at and outdoor Dave Matthews concert at Randall's Island NY and for some reason they had a ski jumping exhibit in the back of the field way behind the audience. Bode Miller was there promoting it and signing autographs at a little table with one chair and nobody in line to get autographs. My wife was with me and six months pregnant and tired. I walked up to Bode Miller and said, "Hey, Bode, you want to be a real American hero? Can my wife have your chair?" He jumped up without a seconds delay and gave her the chair and signed autographs on the ski jumping poster they were giving away. I was so impressed but never sure if he did it because it was the right thing to do or so he could justify not sitting there signing autographs for complete stoner DMB fans.


Willis McGahee knows, via Ryan:

So here it is.... I spent about a quarter yelling WILLIS! (Different Strokes style) At Willis McGahee sitting on the bench... while yelling I really had nothing to say I was just being the drunk no class guy in the expensive seats. So there was a Timeout and i just repeated it over and over. (hes like 25ft tops away from me) so we know he hears me.

He turned to me and yells "WHAT?"

not knowing what to really say or call him any names since i actually like the guy as a RB

I yell back... "Your coach [Dick Jauron] SUCKS!!!"

He smiles and says "I Know"

Gary Payton will hit you with his wallet, via Mark:

In the mid,1990s in Seattle, the Sonics were the hottest ticket in town. And Gary Payton - along with, of course, with Shawn Kemp - were two of the most beloved Sonics. As a 10-year-old I got to take in a Sonics game courtside. Throughout the first half, some drunk guy (the kind you would imagine wearing an Ed Hardy shirt today) a few rows back was heckling Payton. It seemed like he was actually a Sonics fan, so it was confusing. At first, Payton just scowled at him while chomping on his gum. But the guy wouldn't give it up. So later in the half, after he shook his defender and drained a jumper, Payton turned around, gave the guy a dead serious look as he is back pedaling, and said, "Look out. I'm gonna throw my wallet at you."


Barry Bonds is awesome, via Ryan:

April 14, 2001- Milwaukee WI.

(Before we go on, it's important to remind everyone that this was "the season" for Bonds. In retrospect, I wish we had known how Bonds' season would eventually end up, because that makes this story all the more crazy about how locked-in he was, even less than 2 weeks into the season)

It's the Saturday night of Easter weekend and my family (mom, dad, 2 younger brothers) make the trip to Miller Park to check out the Brewers vs Giants. We arrive at our seats down the left field line about 20 rows up. Before the game we notice another family that we're very close with is also attending the same game, and they have seats in the front row of our section, about 50 feet from where Barry Bonds will play left field. The parents all decide, "Hey, let the boys sit together, the parents will sit in the seats further back." So you end up with 7 boys in the front row (no parents), ages 20, 18, 17, 16, 16, 13, 12.

The Brewers strike early and are stomping SF after a few innings, and with each run, we taunt Bonds a little more (nothing quite "bad," since we were simple small-town WI kids, but may be some steroid stuff, etc), but we get louder and a little more direct as the game goes on. In the bottom of the 4th, Ron Belliard (RON BELLIARD) hits a home run just over the wall in right, and one of the brothers in our group yells at Bonds something like (very liberal paraphrasing), "Top that, Bonds."

I kid you not, and swear on any family member's life, this is what happened:

Bonds looks directly at us, gives a slight nod, shrugs, and then shakes his non-glove hand to gesture, "eh, that HR was so-so." The very next half-inning he comes up with 2 runners on, and destroys a pitch for a 3-run homer. The ball traveled the EXACT SAME path as Belliard's an inning before, but must have traveled 100 feet farther. Immediately we all start jumping around like 8-year-olds on Christmas: "OH MY GOD, HE CALLED THAT!"

When the half-inning ended, Bonds made his way out to left field. When he caught our attention, he pointed at the spot and shrugged again, as if gesturing, "That better?" We gave him a golf clap, did a short "We're not worthy" bow and he laughed. We didn't heckle him the rest of the night.

I've always hated Barry Bonds, but goddamn if that wasn't the most "No way that just happened" sports moment of my entire life.