Phillies Color Commentator John Kruk Tells Unhinged Story From Mexican Pacific League Days During Broadcast

Former Philadelphia Phillies player John Kruk throws a ceremonial first pitch.
Former Philadelphia Phillies player John Kruk throws a ceremonial first pitch. / Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY

Pull up former MLB slugger John Kruk's Baseball Reference page and you'll find a rock-solid resume: three All-Star appearances, all in years where he received down-ballot MVP votes, and a seventh-place finish in the NL's Rookie of the Year voting in 1986.

What you will not find—at least until you venture to Wikipedia—is record of his season spent with Águilas de Mexicali. In 1986, the former ESPN commentator helped the Aguilas win their lone Caribbean Series title.

During the Phillies' 5–1 win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday, the ever-entertaining Kruk regaled viewers with a classic story from his winter ball days.

As Kruk told it, his squad was playing an exhibition game against a prison team. Kruk noticed that the team's pitcher threw hard, and asked the catcher how he had wound up in prison.

"'I said, 'What did he do?'" Kruk recalled. "He said, 'Oh, he found his girlfriend cheating and he burned up her car with her and her boyfriend in it.' And I'm like, 'Oh my gosh.'"

Adding hilarity to the entire sequence, Philadelphia shortstop Trea Turner interrupted Kruk's story with a double.

"Very uncomfortable at-bat," Kruk noted matter-of-factly.

You really do see (or hear) something new every day in baseball.

Tom Dierberger


Tom Dierberger is a writer and editor for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. Tom joined SI in 2023 after stints at FOX Sports, Bally Sports, and NBC Sports. In his spare time, Tom can be seen throwing out his arm while playing fetch with his dog, Walter B. Boy.