As details surrounding the origins of Ohio State wide receiver Ted Ginn, Jr.'s sprained foot came out, Ginn found himself inundated with contract offers from all thirty MLB franchises. Ginn sprained his foot in the first quarter of the BCS Championship game while celebrating with his teammates in the end zone after taking the opening kickoff ninety-three yards for a touchdown against the Florida Gators, forcing him to witness the dismantling of the Buckeyes from the sidelines. Since that night, though, Ginn's phone has been ringing off the hook.
"It was really weird," Ginn recalled. "After the game, my voicemail box was completely full. I assumed it was your run-of-the-mill death threats from sports fans who take the games too seriously, but when I listened to the messages, they were all from baseball executives who were telling me how much they wanted an injury talent like me on their team and how I would fit in with all the other baseball players who get injured in the most unorthodox and shady ways.
Mark Shapiro, general manager of the Cleveland Indians, was one of those baseball executives who expressed injury in Ted Ginn after learning after his freak injury. Shapiro happened to be watching the game, but thought Ginn's sprained foot was a normal injury suffered during the course of a football game. When he learned that the injury was the result of an impromptu team celebration, it was then he began coveting Ginn for his own team.
"Everyone thinks he knows what a baseball team looks for when evaluating talent, but no one but only those on the inside know what we really look for," Shapiro stated. "Hitting for power, hitting for average, fielding a position well, arm strength, and running ability are all well and good, but there is another tool that baseball management has looked for in players ever since Wade Boggs sprained muscles in his back while pulling on cowboy boots; that is the ability to injure oneself either completely away from the field of play or in the course of celebrating a play. And it looks like Ted Ginn, Jr. might be one of the special ones in that category."
Players, too, have expressed interest in being able to play alongside someone who can possibly match them freak injury for freak injury. Clint Barmes, shortstop for the Colorado Rockies who fell down some stairs and broke his collarbone while carrying venison, says that he would love to play with Ginn any day of the week. So, too, would Ken Griffey, Jr. who admitted that it was players like Ginn who kept him motivated to find new and innovative ways in which to injure himself.
Ginn still has not officially accepted any of the contract offers, but admits that it is not outside the realm of possibility that the world will hear about his next injury while he is pursuing baseball stardom. "Right now, I think of myself as a football player, but who knows what the future holds?" Ginn remarked. "If I hurt myself again while celebrating or if I dislocate my shoulder while trying to tear a phone book in half like Steve Sparks or even if I burn my chest while ironing a shirt that I am wearing while trying to iron it like John Smoltz, then I will know for sure that baseball is the sport I should be pursuing."