Baseball’s Latest Scandal: Milk Suspensions

ESPN has word of the latest scandal to hit baseball: milk consumption contests. Much like The Saltine Challenge, these competitions test the human body’s ability to ingest an uncomfortable amount of food over a very short period of time.

The Milk Challenge has been around for a long time and is, in my opinion, much tougher than the Saltine Challenge. The idea is to consume an entire gallon of the white stuff in less than an hour without throwing up. I’m not even sure I could do that with water, but with milk? Certainly not. Too much lactose makes the stomach very, very angry.

So you’d think that if someone could actually defeat the Milk Challenge, he’d be showered in glory and valuable prizes, right? Well, not in baseball. Brad Penny, former pitcher for the Florida Marlins (now with the Dodgers), challenged a batboy to complete the challenge with $500 in cash as an incentive. The poor kid ended up drinking the gallon, held it down, but didn’t come in under the one hour mark so he never got the payout. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Marlins then suspended him for six games! 10 games for steroid abuse and 6 games for milk abuse. Good times.

I only hope Penny ended up giving the kid his $500.

UPDATE: Looks like the ballboy is fielding multiple publicity offers now. Alright!
54 comments on “Baseball’s Latest Scandal: Milk Suspensions”. Leave your own?
  1. Wow, poor kid. That really sucks. The whole milk thing is, as you said, quite difficult. I’ve had friends who’ve tried doing a pint in 5 minutes, and immediately after drinking it, they’ve run off to the bathroom to throw up. After seeing these experiences, I’ve realized that it’s just not a good idea to try to drink a lot of milk in a short time. Thankfully, I’ve never given it a shot.
    Milk is just not a good idea at all.

    Milk was a bad choice.

  2. Eric Meyer says:

    As you say, the milk-gallon challenge has long been a fixture of the baseball world. Bill “Spaceman” Lee wrote about it in his autobiography, “The Wrong Stuff”, which came out in 1984 (yeah, two decades ago). If I remember correctly, he’d never heard of anyone who managed to win.

  3. I once had the “honor” of watching someone attempt this challenge. The kid that attempted it managed to drink all but about 1/8 of the gallon, in 45 minutes. Sadly, he was extremely lactose intolerant so he had to be rushed to the hospital and have his stomach pumped. It’s a pity that so many people have no feelings against hazing.

  4. scott says:

    I’ll have to try this some time. Remember, it doesn’t matter if you fail at something. You can be proud as long as you tried. ;)

    Does 2% count, or does it have to be whole?

  5. flashape says:

    yeah i saw this story..what a bunch of retards they are to suspend the kid. even i might be tempted tot ry it for $500.

  6. Phil Scott says:

    One of the guys my sister dated in college did this along with some of his roommates. And, being the brilliant people that they were, they decided to video tape it. So now their children will be able to look back with pride as their parents “cleansed” their system of the milk out a third floor window when they realised this is a futile attempt at greatness.

    When it got to the point that it became clear no one would make the challenge, it quickly dissolved into drinking the milk in under and hour, no matter what came up. Once they finished their gallons they sand “We are the champions of the milk.”

    Which reminds me, I have a friend, who it warrants mentioning is working on his PhD in Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry, & Microbiology, who SWEARS he can do this. Time to go buy some Milk…

  7. Perhaps the reason the suspended him was that he accepted a dare from a pitcher from a different team…

  8. Dave says:

    How old was the batboy? Was he a ten year old kid helping out after school or was the “boy” 25 years old? And why wasn’t the pitcher punished?

    Celebrity has a strange hold on people. Have you or anyone you know ever walked up to a celebrity and said, “I’m a big fan!” then later been confused why they said it? The pitcher better cover that kid’s paycheck.

  9. nick says:

    I’ve got video of two coworkers (on seperate occaisions) attempting the milk challenge. It’s hilarious, and we watch it at least once a year. (Neither succeded, BTW.) I also had a TA in college who did it successfully.

    Dave asks the question I want to as well: why did the pitcher not get suspended?

  10. Those emerging triumphant from The Milk Challenge should attempt The Cinnamon Challenge. One tablespoon of cinnamon. Five minutes. Go!

  11. If i could do it with Lactaid (I’m lactose intolerant) I actually don’t think I would have a problem. I’ve been known to have enormous glasses of milk before bed at night, and if given a full hour, think that I could pull it off.

  12. rob says:

    there used to be a site called stinkfactor that did lots of these challenges. the saltines challenge, eating a jar of horseradish sauce, drinking tobasco, the milk challenge, and lots of others. the site appears to be gone now, but you can still see parts of it on archive org: stinkfactor challenges []

  13. Collin says:

    I never heard of that milk thing. I can drink about a half a gallon of milk without thinking twice about it. In fact I did that just the other day. Since that was surely only 5 – 10 minutes I think a gallon in an hour would have to be doable.

    Perhaps it is a sign that I am destined to become the great milk champion of the ages. Probably just a sign that I am a fat bastard with an overly stretched stomach.

    Damn that sounds like a pretty large amount of milk for 1 sitting though.

    I don’t understand why they suspend over milk?

  14. Allan R. says:


    Can’t find the sense on those contests… There are some contests in mexico where competitors eat Chili, but hardcore chili… That’s just nonsense IMO. Just like boxing, but then that’s another story…

    Hey Mike, who won the latest Giveaway ?

  15. John says:

    Couple things:

    Penny didn’t pay the $500. I believe his words were “Hell no!” But he did “take care of him” for his lost wages.

    Penny didn’t get suspended because he works for the Dodgers, not the Marlins (the team the bat boy works for). Now, some would say the Dodgers are incompetent, but aparently not nearly as stupid as the Marlins. This sort of things happens all the time in the majors from what I here.

  16. bill says:

    Can someone explain why he was suspended? What’s wrong with drinking milk, even if it is on a dare?

  17. Reason for the hefty suspension is because he’s a starting pitcher. Anybody who watches baseball knows that a starting pitcher will only pitch every 5th day because all teams have a 5-man rotation.

    So my point is, he might be suspended for 6 games but its only one start. They generally give starters a longer suspension since they only play every 5 games so the team can’t work his start around the suspension. If Brad Penny was a position player, then MLB would have most likely only suspended them 1 game. From that perspective it doesn’t seem as bad.

    Either way I disagree with the suspension.

  18. John says:

    Chris: The suspension was for the bat boy, not Penny.

  19. Haha…shows how much I was paying attention to Sportscenter last night and to this entry and comments

    I was wondering why nobody else has made that point….pretty obvious to any baseball fan.

    In that case, that’s saying that the bat boy’s offense is more than half as bad as a MLB player using steroids and I disagree with the suspension still.

  20. Matt Wilson says:

    Here in New Zealand we do 2 litres (1/2 gallon?) in 2 minutes. About 1 in 4 people who can get it down actually manage to keep it down. Me, I can do 1 litre in 1 minute, but I don’t get much further.

    See also the “Thriftee Challenge.” Thriftee is an evil, evil artificial lime cordial concentrate (1 to 20 ratio suggested for real drinking), and people attempt to scull an 800ml bottle straight.

  21. Don says:

    sure seems doable
    if I didn’t think it was a trick question I’d sure have tried it for $500

    does it have to be whole milk?

    I drink a fair amount of milk sometimes.

    There are many worse things in the world to worry about than voluntary agreements to try things that don’t appear to be particularly harmful.

  22. I also read this story on ESPN and was very amused by it. The best quote came from Penny himself who said “It’s kind of ridiculous that you get a 10-game suspension for steroids and a six-game suspension for milk…”

    I’ve got to say… I agree.

  23. Marc Broad says:

    @Matt Wilson..

    Oh the menace of Thriftee… that stuff was abysmal.

    I had “mates” in a hostel that were so hard up for a drink they used to mix krystov (cheap cheap vodka) with Raro (drink sachet) and call it “Rodka” (like in a scooby doo voice).
    Drink it straight. Feel the pain.

    And i think the americans are a little soft… Maybe people from NZ are just feral ? As you say – 2 litres in 2 minutes.

    I am setting myself a gallon challenge for saturday.

  24. Brad says:

    I’ve always heard/called this the “Gallon Challenge.” It also happens to be the coolest sounding. =)

  25. Matt May says:

    This was done on the reality show Inked a week or so ago. Guy lost in 37 minutes. It was looking like it was the longest 37 minutes of his life.

    So, maybe there are rules to this that I don’t get, but the whole deal is that you have a gallon of milk in your stomach 60 minutes after you start, right? So what’s to prevent someone from starting to drink the milk 50 minutes in, finish in time, collect the cash, and then spew? Does it have to stay down, period?

  26. Calvin says:

    I think making someone drink that much milk is worse than taking steroids. It should have been 10 games for the milk incident and 6 for the ‘roids.

  27. Brian says:

    Calvin – noone made the ballboy drink the milk. The guy that (tried) to drink the milk is the one who was suspended…

    If he was a kid, I’m a bit more empathetic, but either way I don’t see how making a fool of yourself is cause for suspension. I’m assuming that there are rules against betting, and that is why the employee was suspended. I can’t really think of any other reason.

  28. ean frick says:

    It’s got to be whole milk. The lower fat milk makes it much easier. You see, the lactose in the milk makes your stomach muscles cramp up and stop digesting. At that point the milk has no place to go except out the way it came in.

    You have 60 mins from the first sip. Drink it all at once and tough out the hour, or sip slowly the whole time. I have yet to see or hear of anyone that could do it with whole milk, it’s supposed to be physically impossible.

    I’ve done the milk challenge with my roomate. I drank it all, but it didn’t stay there. It’s a fun thing to watch because when it comes out it’s not just a little dribble, it’s an explosive spew, Linda Blair type stuff.

    So go find that buddy of yours that says he did it or is sure that he could do it. Make a friendly wager, hand him a gallon of whole, sit back and watch. It’ll be a good show.

  29. Didn’t see it say anything about what type of milk it was (1%, 2%, or whole) but if you do the challege, make sure you are the one who goes and gets the milk, then pick up 2% because it is possible. Maybe after classes tommorow I should go get me a gallon of 2%, see how I do. I know I can drink a half-gallon and feel fine, but usually when I’m done I want more. Damn milk prices, costs me more per gallon of milk than it does gasoline.

  30. R says:

    I once read of the Sumo Wrestler Konisikis’ average breakfast.
    And I believe that part of it was at least one if not two gallons of milk.

    Does anyone have updated info about Konisiki or Akebono or any other sumo wrestler and their daily dietary intake?

  31. Emily says:

    Yeah, I always heard that the millk won’t absorb into your stomach the way, say, water might. After a gallon, it’s got nowhere else to go and will come back out the top.

    I wonder if the people who were able to complete it had larger-than-average stomachs. Or were more lactose-tolerant.

  32. David Harris says:

    Im a British Student, and the Milk Challenge we play over here isnt a gallon in an hour keeping it down as well, We play as quick as you can. Your expected to chuck it up. Last Night the defending champion, 20 stone rugby player faced off against 2 other challengers. Petes record was 3min 27. A french lad and myself were the other two. I won by half a second over pete and set a new hall record of 2min 50sec.

    Just wondering if anyone else has tried it like this, or is willing to and what the best time is?

  33. corey says:

    my good friend frankie consumed a gallon of milk in 9 minutes.. no lie i witnessed it. and also did not throw up, he stated that he had the worst bowel movements for the rest of the night EVER. haha go frankie

  34. Jake says:

    I have question (please answer soon, if possible): I made a bet with a friend for $10 that I could drink a gallon of milk in less than an hour, but I need some tips from people who have actually done it before, please. It’s whole milk, by the way, and I can eat Oreo’s if I want to. I really need some advice and a strategy from the pros. Thanks.

  35. lilredhalo says:

    Is there a world record for the milk challenge??? Or a world record for any kind of milk drinking?

  36. Jake says:

    By the way, I lost the bet about two months ago with my friends, but it was so entertaining that they let me keep my $10.
    If you are going to have a drinking contest, beer or any other kind of available alcohol is much better than milk.

  37. Nate says:

    Here is a video of someone actually completing the challenge. Here he is seen doing it with 1%, and failing with chocolate milk. They say they are trying 2% next.

  38. mike says:

    I think it is actually the volume not the lactose that does it–at least thats my roomate’s theory. Clicking on my name in this comment will be a link to the story about the attempt

  39. John LaRose says:

    I was so confident that this ‘gallon of milk in an hour’ challenge couldn’t be accomplished that I bet a good friend of mine that he couldn’t do it.

    While camping with four other families this past Memorial Day weekend the topic of this challenge came up. My friend ‘guaranteed’ us he could drink a gallon of whole milk in an hour and keep it down for another hour. I laughed, telling him that it was physically impossible for anyone to do, and proceeded to egg him on. We bought him a gallon at the camp store and for the next hour layed on the heckling very thick as he consumed glass after glass. Needless to say he began drinking slower and slower and his confidence vanished as the hour slipped by.

    Now….. for my apologies….. Dave, I am sorry I doubted you. Not only did he finish the entire gallon in less than an hour (57 min.) but he kept it down the rest of the day. I will say though, the 30 minutes right after he finished were intensely funny, as he was bent over right on the edge of losing the milk, as we continued to try to make every noise possible to aid in helping him puke. Again, to my surprise, he did not throw up, and we now refer to him as ‘Milk Man Dave’.

    Congratulations Dave! Labor Day weekend we’ll go for two gallons!!
    John (York, Pennsylvania)

  40. Tom says:

    James Pattani drank a gallon of milk in 41 seconds recently. That’s the record I’m told. The provided link is to a video of same.

  41. Tom says:

    Hmmm, the link didn’t show up, here it is.

  42. daniel LANGDON says:

    On a year 11 school camp, I chose to drink 2 litres of milk for a challenge we had to do. I skulled it down in about a minute, but it only stayed down for about half that. It just bloated me too much.

  43. Billy K says:

    JAX FL 2 % 45 minutes I’m the man stupid dean wants to suspend me tho. but who cares cus im tghe man and hes just jealouse cus hes bald

  44. Billy K says:

    and im only 15
    if that makes it harder at all and i didnt throw up till later that night

  45. austin says:

    i did the milk challenge, drank it in one hour and never puked! is that a record

  46. Milkman says:

    Back in college we had what we called the 711 challenge (room 711 in a holiday inn). for $30 worth of beer, we had an individual try this not once but twice. The first time he did get the full gallon of whole milk down in the hour but brought it back up in the half hour mandatory wait period (on film by the way somewhere). The second time he didn’t even make it to the 45 min mark and a 1/4 gallon to go…ralph!

  47. BigAlex68 says:

    It is possible to drink it and keep it, Joey Chestnut did it in 41 seconds, I did in 2 mintutes, this is the link:


  48. krazyk says:

    so is there a world record?

  49. Ashley says:

    lol i don’t think its a problem…. if i cud drink a half gallon in 5 minutes…. i cud possibly be able to drink a whole one in ten…. im goin to :D

  50. Super Dave says:

    Yes it is possible, I did it and won $100 that was bet on me, the best way is to pace yourself unless you are going for a speed record, I did it while playing poker, 1 glass at a time.

  51. I’m doing the milk challenge as I type this. Half way through.

  52. justin dewitt says:

    i drank half gallon in 4 minutes and held it for 20 without vomiting

  53. john says:

    please…i havent attempted it but ive drank a half gallon in 20 minutes and was fine…i figure i w8 another 20 minutes and finish the rest

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