In a Nutshell:
- Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zac Gallen accidentally killed a bird with a baseball during his warm-up before a game against the Oakland Athletics. This incident was captured on video.
- In a similar incident over 20 years ago, Diamondbacks pitcher Randy Johnson killed a bird with a pitch during a game. These are the only known instances in MLB history of a bird being struck and killed by a pitch.
- In contrast to these unfortunate incidents, there have been lighter moments of animal interference in sports games, including a goose causing a commotion at a Dodgers game and a praying mantis sitting atop a player’s cap during a Nationals game.
In an unlikely turn of events, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zac Gallen accidentally struck and killed a bird during a pre-game warm-up, when his curveball hit the bird in mid-flight.
This unusual incident, captured on video, isn’t the first of its kind for the team; in 2001, Diamondbacks pitcher and Hall of Famer Randy Johnson similarly hit a bird with a fastball in a game against the New York Yankees.
These two occurrences are the only known instances in Major League Baseball history of a bird being killed by a pitch.
Although such tragic incidents involving birds are rare, there are numerous lighter stories of animal interference in sporting events.
For example, a game between the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers was interrupted when a goose got loose on the field, leading the grounds crew on a comedic chase.
Similarly, in 2021, two separate incidents of animal invasions occurred on the same day during different games.
In a game at Yankees Stadium against the Baltimore Orioles, a wandering cat caused a halt in play, while in Washington D.C., a praying mantis chose to perch atop the baseball cap of Nationals player Victor Robles during a game against the Phillies.
Conor McGregor Accidentally KO’s Miami Heat Mascot in Skit Gone Wrong [Video]
In a Nutshell:
- Ex-UFC champion Conor McGregor participated in an unexpected boxing stunt with Miami Heat’s mascot, Burnie, during a promotional event in the middle of an NBA Finals game.
- McGregor knocked down Burnie with a left hook, leading to the mascot requiring medical attention and pain medication. The identity of the man inside the mascot suit has not been revealed.
- McGregor was at the game to promote a pain-relief spray, and his antic of punching the mascot and then attempting to ‘heal’ him with the spray drew boos from the crowd.
The arena buzzed with excitement during the third-quarter stoppage of Game 4 of the NBA Finals, but not for the usual reasons.
It wasn’t a slam dunk, a three-pointer, or even a dramatic foul that had the crowd gasping – it was the sight of ex-UFC champion Conor McGregor, landing a left hook on Burnie, the Miami Heat’s lovable mascot.
The flame-faced mascot found himself in an unexpected ring match during a promotional skit that took a wrong turn.
Burnie, donned in oversized boxing gloves and a robe reminiscent of a fighter’s pre-match ensemble, received a one-two combo from McGregor that would make an experienced UFC fighter grimace.
After McGregor landed a left hook that knocked Burnie to the floor, he delivered another punch for good measure.
It’s the kind of dramatic scene you’d expect in a UFC octagon, but not the hardwood court of an NBA game.
The crowd response was a medley of boos and gasps even before the bizarre bit started.
McGregor, who was at the game to promote a pain-relief spray, had already piqued the crowd’s ire before his ill-advised spar with the mascot.
Once the mascot was down, McGregor attempted to ‘heal’ the damage done by spraying the pain-relief product on Burnie.
Meanwhile, members of the Heat’s in-game promotional team had the unexpected task of dragging the battered Burnie off the court.
The man inside Burnie’s costume, whose identity was not revealed, had to seek medical attention following the unexpected showdown.
The Heat confirmed on Saturday that he was recuperating at home, aided by pain medication.
As for McGregor, this stunt marks another bizarre event in a rather quiet period of his career.
He hasn’t stepped into the octagon since injuring his left leg during a match against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 in July 2021.
His last victory dates back to January 2020.
Whether this outlandish display was a call for attention or just an ill-conceived gimmick, one thing’s for sure: Burnie might think twice before squaring up with another fighter.
Canadian Woman Wins Annual Cheese-Rolling Race While Unconscious [Video]
In a Nutshell:
- Delaney Irving, a 19-year-old Canadian, has won the notoriously dangerous Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling Race in the United Kingdom, a victory she only realized after waking up from unconsciousness in a medical tent.
- The event, a peculiar annual spectacle dating back 600 years, involves participants from across the globe who race down a steep 180-meter hill in pursuit of a wheel of Gloucester cheese that can reach speeds of up to 70 mph.
- Despite significant safety concerns due to the event’s hazardous nature, the thrill of the chase and love for cheese continues to attract and amuse participants such as Manchester resident Matt Crolla, Japanese cheese lover Ryoya Minami, and Washington’s Cooper Cummings.
In a plot twist as unexpected as cheese curds in a poutine, a courageous 19-year-old Canadian, Delaney Irving, skated to victory in the UK’s annual cheese-rolling race.
Irving’s win was anything but ordinary; the trophy was a 7lb wheel of Gloucester cheese, and the competition so fierce, she had a blackout to prove it.
After a harsh trip and tumble that left her temporarily knocked out, our heroine woke up in a medical tent, realizing that she’d wheeled herself into history.
“I still don’t really believe it, but it feels great,” she modestly confessed to the BBC.
The only thing sharper than her tumble, it seems, was her rise to victory.
The Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling Race, a spectacle as intriguing as a mystery cheeseboard, is held annually in Gloucester, England.
It involves thrill-seekers chasing a wheel of cheese down a perilously steep 180-meter hill.
And it’s not just any slow roll: the cheese reaches speeds of up to 70 mph, adding a level of danger that’d make even a hard Parmesan crack.
The event, purportedly running annually for approximately 600 years, is known for drawing daredevils from around the globe.
With its steep hill and wild wheel of cheese, the event, which is more peculiar than blue cheese in a dessert, only seems to grow in its appeal with each passing year.
But Irving’s quick victory wasn’t as smooth as cream cheese.
Viral video footage shows her smacking her head before she tumbled across the finish line.
“I remember running, then bumping my head, and then I woke up in the tent,” she recounted.
Cooper’s Hill, with its perilous slope, ensures that the cheese-rolling race has seen more participants in medical tents than an average sporting event.
Yet, it appears that danger doesn’t deter thrill-seekers and cheese enthusiasts from partaking in this annual spectacle.
Take for example, Matt Crolla, a Manchester resident, who won one of the races and conceded that participating was about “being an idiot.”
Then there’s Ryoya Minami, a dedicated cheese aficionado who traveled all the way from Japan.
When questioned about his motivation, Minami was succinct: “I love cheese.”
And let’s not forget Cooper Cummings, who journeyed from Washington, but didn’t manage to nab a wheel of cheese.
He maintained that “it was worth it simply to see the strange yearly ritual take place.”
So if you were ever curious about how much someone might risk for cheese, these brave, albeit slightly unhinged individuals have your answer: ‘everything’.
No pain, no gain, no glory, and indeed, no cheese!
Umpire Rescues Player from Dust Devil During Youth Baseball Game [Video]
In a Nutshell:
- A dust devil formed during a youth baseball game in Jacksonville, Florida, causing a scare when it enveloped a 7-year-old player, Bauer Zoya, who was lifted to safety by the 17-year-old umpire, Aidan Wiles.
- Wiles’ quick thinking and heroic actions were captured on video; despite initial fear, he prioritized Zoya’s safety and pulled him out of the whirlwind.
- The dust devil dissipated quickly, allowing the game to continue shortly after the incident, with Zoya returning to the field after his dad helped clear dust from his face.
When a dust devil threatened to sweep up a little league baseball game in Jacksonville, Florida, a brave teen umpire jumped into action.
The surprising whirlwind interrupted the game at Fort Caroline Athletic Association baseball field and a particularly heart-stopping moment was caught on camera, when a seven-year-old player found himself in the eye of the storm.
The video of the unexpected event showcases the rapidly forming dust devil whipping across the field, causing players to scatter for cover.
However, it was the team’s 7-year-old catcher, Bauer Zoya, from Ponte Vedra Sharks, who found himself enveloped by the dust cone.
Bauer told WJXT-TV about his harrowing experience.
“I couldn’t breathe that much,” he recalled.
“So I held my breath and I felt like I couldn’t touch the ground. So I kind of lifted up a little bit.”
Just as the situation seemed to grow dangerous, 17-year-old umpire Aidan Wiles heroically charged into the swirling dust to lift Bauer to safety.
Although Aidan admitted the situation scared him, he found his courage when he saw Bauer trapped in the dust devil.
“At first I was freaked out myself until I saw him trapped in it,” Aidan told First Coast News.
“So, I decided to run in there and grab him out of it.”
The dust devil was short-lived and dissipated after a few moments, and the game was able to continue.
Bauer returned to the field after his dad, Brian Zoya, poured water on his face to prevent dust from entering his eyes.
Thanks to quick thinking and heroic action, what could have been a frightening event turned into a memorable moment of courage.
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