In town with the San Diego Padres as their first base coach, Skip Schumaker was able to visit with a number of old friends here in St. Louis. Among them was former teammate Adam Wainwright, who back in Spring Training shared the story of a prank battle between the two.
“Baby powder in your vents in the air conditioning when you turn on the car,” recalled Wainwright. “Vaseline on the keys–Skip was relentless with that stuff.”
So Wainwright plotted his revenge.
“My daughter Bailey was not even in pull-ups yet, still in baby diapers,” he explained. “For two weeks, I kept all the poop diapers she had in one bag. I brought them in to Spring Training and I just loaded up the back of his car all the way. Stuck them underneath all the seats–nothing that you could see.”
After a full day of Spring Training, the unsuspecting Schumaker opened his car door to head home.
“It was probably the worst smell I’ve ever had in my life,” recalled Schumaker, his face crunching up in disgust. “After that, it was on. He had to give up, probably about a year later.”
Neither Wainwright or Schumaker recall which specific prank ended the battle, but it may have been the sheer volume that Skip responded with.
“I put red hot in everything he had,” smiled Schumaker. “It would either be in his socks before he’d go run poles, or in his sliders before he’d throw a bullpen.”
Even on the recent trip St. Louis had in San Diego there were some hijinx, as Schumaker ordered room service for Wainwright–at an inconvenient time.
“We played video games at night after one of the games,” said Schumaker. “I put a thing on his door of like the worst breakfast you could ever have at 5:30 in the morning. So they came in the morning–there was like hot tea and crumpets and everything at 5:30 in the morning. Just stupid stuff like that.”
Because of the recent San Diego incident, Adam Wainwright delivered a return shot during tonight’s Cardinals-Padres game. Ironing on his 50 to the back of Schumaker’s travel clothes.
“He signed it that it’s even, it’s far from over now,” stated Schumaker as Padres players and coaches walked by in amusement. “This is a good one, though. I’m impressed. It’s really, really good. The number on my butt cheeks and the autograph to my wife, really, may have crossed the line actually. This should be a fun retaliation.”
“Not complicated at all,” promised Schumaker. “There’s ways to FedEx stuff and, no he’ll be on red alert. High alert for the remainder of the year.”
Schumaker is concentrating less on the pranks and more on helping the Padres these days. Besides first base coaching duties, he also is responsible for the outfield positioning and also assists with the base-running keys.
It seems like a natural transition after 11 MLB seasons for one of those veterans who helped show the way for others.
“I don’t think so,” said Schumaker. “I don’t think I ever really envisioned myself coaching this soon. I went home and became a coach pretty early. I didn’t have to go through the minor leagues–I was very fortunate to not have to do that. I think every coach here has gone through the minors except Big Mac. I understand how hard that is, so I don’t take that for granted for sure–the bus rides and those long hours on the road.
“I did feel like I had a passion to give back of learning all the stuff, not only from the great coaches I’ve had, but the great veteran players. I didn’t know where I was going to give back to, if it was going to be at the big league level or the high school level. I really had no idea. This was really a situation that was too good to be true. I live so close to home that I had to take this opportunity.”
photo credit: Brian Stull-STLBaseballWeekly.com