A Japanese youth baseball team got the surprise of a lifetime earlier this week when Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda showed up to practice.
The wrinkle (pun intended) was that Maeda showed up disguised as an old man, so the young players had no idea they were in the midst of a budding MLB star.
No idea, that is, until the old man took the mound and proceeded to use his devasting pitches (though he wasn't throwing at full speed) to strike out the hapless youngster on three straight pitches.
In the video below, you can see for yourself how Maeda hobbles to the mound with a cane and a hunched back and then proceeds to dominate the young batter:
The video takes a turn, though, when Maeda proceeds to remove his wig and then literally PEELS OFF HIS FACE! However, the children quickly bounce back from the potentially horrific sight when they realize they are in the presence of Maeda.
Disturbing costume removal aside, the experience is likely something the lucky youth players will not soon forget, especially as Maeda continues to become a star in the MLB.
Maeda, a native of Japan, had an outstanding rookie season for the NL West champion Dodgers in 2016. He finished the year with a record of 16-11 and a 3.48 ERA in 175.2 innings.
Though the Dodgers made it to the National League Championship Series before losing to the eventual World Series-champion Chicago Cubs, Maeda struggled in the playoffs, going 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in three starts.