2001 | TUCSON, ARIZONA – Many hitters thought Randy Johnson‘s fastballs were deadly. On this date in 2001 one of them truly was, and the dove it struck never knew what hit it.
During an exhibition game against the San Francisco Giants, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ pitcher wound up and threw a fastball to a Giants hitter at precisely the moment a dove flew in front of home plate. The ball hit the bird. The result was a cloud of feathers and an ex-bird
According to the Associated Press (AP), Diamondbacks catcher Rod Barajas said, “I’m sitting there waiting for it, and I’m expecting to catch the thing and all you see is an explosion.” The home plate umpire called it a “no pitch.”
Sportswriters and columnists had a field day with the unfortunate demise of the bird, which ended up in “fowl” territory. Johnson said he didn’t think it was all that funny.
When wildlife wasn’t getting in the way of Randy Johnson pitches he was pretty good, and as of this writing, still is. He’s won five Cy Young awards. Entering the 2009 season, has a record of 295 wins and 160 losses. He’s been on 10 all-star teams, and was a member of the 2001 World Series Champion Diamondbacks. And as far as we know, no more of his fastballs have collided with any birds.
The Associated Press (AP), Tucson, Arizona, March 25, 2001
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