When it comes to the televisions, a baseball clubhouse is pretty similar to your local gym. If there isn't a game on, there's a decent chance "American Ninja Warrior" is on the screens, and former Giants first-rounder Gary Brown became a fan as he was working his way up to the big leagues.
Brown was known for his speed and athleticism, and teammates would often joke about how they thought he would do well on the show. He retired in 2017 and went into baseball operations, and last fall he discovered there was a Ninja Nation gym just five minutes from his house in Texas.
Brown's wife, Lindsay, could tell that her husband, now 32, wanted a physical goal to work toward, so they made a deal.
"We made a bet (that) if I went there and did well I had to turn in an audition tape," Brown said Monday.
He went to Ninja Nation. He did well.
On Monday night, Brown was featured on the show. His wife, a former college cheerleader, and two young children were shown watching on big screens at the start of the course, along with Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford, who became good friends with Brown while they both were in the Giants' farm system.
Brown easily got through the first four obstacles but fell into a pool of water while trying to jump from one hanging plank to the next on the fifth obstacle. "Swing and a miss," he joked to the poolside camera.
Brown was a first-round pick in 2010 and made the big leagues four years later, getting seven late-season at-bats as the Giants went on to win the World Series. His ring was prominently displayed in the show Monday, and in a promo video he held it up and said, "I already got a ring, now it's time to get a buzzer."
Brown interned in baseball operations for the Seattle Mariners after retiring and then got hired as a scout for the New York Mets. With the sport shut down earlier this year, he got the call from "American Ninja Warrior."
"I trained for a couple of weeks and gave it my best shot," he said.