SPORTO: Baseball Kills Birds

TUCSON, Ariz. — Randy Johnson does have a killer fastball.

During the seventh inning of the Diamondbacks’ split-squad 10-6 victory against the Giants on Saturday [March 24, 2001], the NL Cy Young winner hit and killed a dove flying in front of home plate. Johnson’s pitch to the Giants’ Calvin Murray was about three-fourths of the way to home plate when it struck the bird. The bird flew over catcher Rod Barajas’ head and landed a few feet from the plate amid a sea of feathers.

“I’m sitting there waiting for it, and I’m expecting to catch the thing, and all you see is an explosion,” Barajas said. “It’s crazy. There’s still feathers down there.” Giants second baseman Jeff Kent picked up the dead bird with his bare hands and jokingly pointed toward Johnson before taking it to the dugout. Johnson was not amused by the incident. “I didn’t think it was all that funny,” he said.

ESPN: Stranger Than Fiction

Above: A groundskeeper at Tucson Electric Park picks up what’s left of a dove that was hit and killed by a Randy Johnson fastball.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *