Under the name Roy Nabryt, Bryant donned a Mesa Community College jersey and pretended to be a transfer from Europe. It did not take long after Bryant took some monstrous batting practice swings before the team realized his true identity.
In similar fashion, Maeda wore a grey wig and incredibly realistic face paint to disguise himself as an old man. Eventually, the youth team invited old-man Maeda to face one batter. When Maeda hobbled hunchbacked to the mound, the youth ballplayer did not expect to see major league caliber fastballs. Once Maeda sat his victim down after three perfectly placed pitches, he unveiled his identity to an elated youth team.
Not only is Maeda capable of striking out baseball’s youth, he found similar success in the major leagues. To kick off his rookie season, Maeda burst onto the scene with a home run against the San Diego Padres. His first career homer highlighted his six-inning shutout en route to his victorious debut. By the end of the season, he contributed a 16-11 record and 3.48 ERA to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ second-half comeback in the NL West. Despite some postseason struggles, Maeda’s incredible regular season placed him third for the Rookie of the Year award.