One of the most infamous videos in MLB history came at the hands of former pitching great Randy Johnson.
The year was 2001. Johnson was pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks in a spring training game against the San Francisco Giants. During the 7th inning, Johnson wound up to throw a pitch when an unfortunate bird flew into the camera frame. What followed was an explosion of feathers as the ball never actually reached home plate.
MLB: Zac Gallen Hits Bird With Baseball During Warm-Ups
Zac Gallen hit a bird with a curve ball during pregame warmups of the Diamondbacks vs. Athletics matchup 😲pic.twitter.com/XvqhN3B4Fk
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 17, 2023
The ball was unable to be measured, but it was estimated that it was a 100 mile per hour pitch that struck the bird. Likely a morning dove, the feathered friend did not survive the incident. But a moment that would live on forever was born on that day.
22 years later, another bird has suffered a similar fate at the hands of a Diamondbacks pitcher. While warming up for their game against the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday, Arizona pitcher Zac Gallen appeared to hit a flying object with a warm-up pitch as he loosened up in the outfield.
Cameras caught the incident. The person playing catch obviously missed the ball, which careened out of the picture behind him. But at his feet dropped the unlucky bird, seemingly bouncing on the ground and coming to a rest at the tips of the toes.
22 years ago Randy Johnson murdered a bird pic.twitter.com/MQmrNPNUE8
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) March 24, 2023
Bally Sports Arizona actually reported on the incident after it took place. The announcer sounded somewhat somber, saying that the clip was hard to watch as an animal lover. But apparently Gallen did some reporting, as it was said that he checked on the well-being of the bird. It unfortunately did not live.
The poor bird. There are so many places to fly and so much open space. Given that the A’s are setting MLB records for poor attendance, there seemed to be plenty of places to hang out too if he just wanted to catch some afternoon baseball action.
As for the game itself, Arizona held a 3-0 lead over Oakland in the top of the 7th inning. It was Ryne Nelson, not Gallen, who started the game for the Diamondbacks.
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