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Former MLB All-Star Jonathan Papelbon once got 'Dirty' for high school skit

6-time All-Star pitcher had time of his life imitating Patrick Swayze in 1999

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Long before he was sparring with teammate Bryce Harper in the dugout, former Major League Baseball All-Star pitcher Jonathan Papelbon was having the time of his life playing the role of Johnny in "Dirty Dancing."

The character, made famous by the late Patrick Swayze in the 1987 movie, was portrayed by Papelbon in a talent show for the senior class of 1999 at Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville, Florida.

Jonathan Papelbon (top row, center) poses for a team photograph for the Bishop Kenny Crusaders in 1999.
Jonathan Papelbon (top row, center) poses for a team photograph for the Bishop Kenny Crusaders in 1999.

Papelbon and fellow classmate Matt Griffis recreated the iconic dance scene from the film's finale. The recently discovered school video was obtained by Local10.com.

Griffith assumed the role (in drag) of Jennifer Grey's Baby as the pair strutted onto the stage and reenacted the dance moves to the tune of the Oscar-winning duet "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. They were met by audience applause and cheers from the female class of seniors.

Papelbon displayed his athleticism even back then, flipping Griffis over his back and jumping off the stage and into the throng of senior women huddled together in the front row.

The future six-time All-Star also caught Griffis as he leaped into Papelbon's arms and hoisted him into the air, just like Johnny does to Baby in the movie.

They concluded their skit by pretending to lock lips and then flashed their bare chests to the enamored crowd before walking off the stage as the curtain closed.

In the end, Papelbon's dance partner was crowned "Mr. BK." As for Papelbon, the two-sport high school star, who spent his falls catching passes from current New York Giants tight ends coach Kevin M. Gilbride, was voted most athletic among his peers in the school's yearbook.

Jonathan Papelbon was voted most athletic among the 1999 senior class at Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville, Florida.
Jonathan Papelbon was voted most athletic among the 1999 senior class at Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville, Florida.

The distinction seems to have been prophetic. Who else from that graduating class can lay claim to a World Series championship and a place in the MLB record book as the quickest player to reach 200 saves?

After graduating from Bishop Kenny, where he primarily played first base for the Crusaders, Papelbon pitched for the Mississippi State Bulldogs and became a fourth-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox in 2003.

Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon delivers a pitch against the New York Yankees during their game at Fenway Park on May 1, 2006 in Boston. The Red Sox defeated the Yankees 7-3. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon delivers a pitch against the New York Yankees during their game at Fenway Park on May 1, 2006 in Boston. The Red Sox defeated the Yankees 7-3. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Papelbon threw the game-winning strikeout for the Red Sox in game 4 of the 2007 World Series against the Colorado Rockies, helping Boston to win its second world championship in four seasons.

He signed a lucrative free-agent contract in 2012 with the Philadelphia Phillies, becoming the team's all-time saves leader, and was traded to the Washington Nationals in 2015.

That was the same year he was involved in an altercation with Harper, in which he grabbed the fellow All-Star by the throat. Papelbon was suspended by the team for four games, ending his season, and he was released in August 2016.

He hasn't played baseball since.