Fowl Ball: MLB Pitcher Accidentally Hits Bird with a Pitch [Video]
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.