Greg Maddux disguised himself as a bearded, scraggly TV sound man for a Red Bull commercial and bent a few curves past the National League’s reigning Most Valuable Player, the Chicago Tribune reported.
"This sound guy has got a good curveball. What is this?" Bryant said after taking one of Maddux's pitches. "He's pretty good."
The prank was set up by Red Bull, one of Bryant's sponsors. The company revealed on its website that Bryant "was under the impression he was going through a basic workout routine at the College of Southern Nevada before leaving for spring training.
"Little did he know that the sound guy with the boom stick, long hair, mustache and goatee was none other than Maddux, a four-time Cy Young Award winner and fellow Las Vegas comrade," Red Bull posted on its website.
Maddux, known as “Mad Dog” and “The Professor” during his 23-year major-league career, won 355 games and struck out 3,371 batters. But on this day, he was just the “Sound Guy.” And his pitches made a humming sound as he zipped them past Bryant, who was becoming more impressed with every pitch.
Maddux had taken over for the batting practice pitcher, who suddenly got a call to "run study hall" on campus. When Bryant objected to a “novice” pitching (“I don’t want any of you guys throwing”), Maddux assured him that “I throw to kids all the time” and “I throw to my Little League team.”
Maddux finally revealed his true identity when he asked the Cubs’ third baseman to autograph his bat for “Greg Maddux.” He then took off the beard as Bryant laughed out loud.