Weird Baseball Injuries
Baseball can sometimes be a strange sport. There have been weird statistical occurrences on the field but some of the most bizarre events have happened off the field. In February, Royals pitcher Brian Flynn fell through his barn roof in Oklahoma. He broke a rib and suffered three non-displaced fractures in his vertebrae. As bad as those injuries sound, they apparently will only keep him out for 8 weeks. Last season, Brewers pitcher Will Smith twisted his knee while putting on shower shoes. This caused an LCL sprain. That got me thinking about some of the weird injuries that have happened in baseball. There is certainly no shortage. Here are a few that stood out.
- In 2004, before a game against the San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa sneezed hard twice. This was apparently enough to cause back spasms. He had to miss the game but the Cubs still managed to win 4-2.
- Red Sox third baseman Wade Boggs has a problem with boots. In 1986, when he was attempting to have a .400 season, he injured his ribs and back while trying to pull off his cowboy boots. The incident happened on June 9 in a hotel in Toronto. While he was trying to use one foot to remove the boot off the other, he slipped and fell off the arm of a chair he was sitting on. He tried to play in the following four games but his injuries continuously worsened and his batting average dropped to .380. He eventually missed six games and finished the season with a still league-leading .357 batting average. Where is a shoehorn when you need one?
- Pittsburgh Pirates legend Roberto Clemente's string of back problems were brought on by one mishap during the offseason. He fell out of a hammock on his porch while he was asleep and rolled down several yards of a steep slope that was nearby.
- Ryan Klesko missed a couple of games because he pulled a muscle in his back while turning with his lunch tray. When your plate is heavy enough to injure you, it might be time to cut back.
- Players have even gotten hurt lounging around. Marlins pitcher Ricky Bones once strained his lower back getting out of a recliner while watching TV in the clubhouse.
- After playing in only 22 games, New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira needed a rest day because his legs were tired after being on base so much.
- Outfielder Moises Alou, who played for the Houston Astros at the time, missed the entire 1999 season after tearing his ACL. He suffered the injury in the offseason after he fell off a treadmill. While less serious, he would hurt his knee a year later when he fell off his bike while riding with his son.
- In 2002, during spring training, Matt Williams tripped over his feet during a workout and broke his leg. At the time, he was trying to prove he was still fit to play third base. He managed to play 60 games that season.
- Shaving cream pies are commonplace in baseball. Usually, they don't end in injury. This was not the case in 2010 when Marlins outfielder Chris Coughlin tore his meniscus trying to give his teammate a shaving cream pie in the face after a walk-off win.
- Hothead Milton Bradley tore his ACL while being restrained from arguing a perceived bad call with an umpire.
- Braves hall of fame pitcher John Smoltz burned his chest while ironing a shirt he was wearing.
- Outfielder Ricky Henderson missed some games in August due to frostbite. He apparently fell asleep with an ice pack on his injured foot. Ricky was alway an eccentric personality but it leads me to wonder how long he was asleep.
- Giants third baseman Chris Brown once pulled himself out of the lineup due to a strained eyelid. He supposedly got the injury from sleeping on it wrong.
- Ken Griffey Jr. once missed a game after his protective cup slipped, causing it to pinch his testicle. Ouch! He injured his hand in 2006 while playing with his kids.
- In 1987, Greg Harris, a pitcher for the Texas Rangers, managed to strain his elbow flicking sunflower seeds. The injury caused him to miss the next two games. He was seen in later games trying to flick teammates with sunflower seeds, this time using his non-throwing hand.
- In 2001, San Diego Padres outfielder Adam Eaton stabbed himself in the stomach while trying to remove the plastic off of a new DVD.
- Joel Zumaya, the hard-throwing reliever for the Detroit Tigers, injured his wrist while playing Guitar Hero. The injury occurred during the playoffs and caused him to miss the majority of their run to the World Series in 2006.
- Relief pitcher Steve Sparks dislocated his shoulder tearing a phone book in half. I guess he was training for a strong man competition.
- Outfielder Bret Barberie missed a game after he rubbed chilli juice in his eyes.
- My all time favorite injury is when Glenallen Hill got hurt from a nightmare. In 1990, he arrived at the ballpark on crutches with cuts and rugburn all over his body. He told the team that he had a nightmare about being attacked by a spider. In a nasty case of sleepwalking, he jumped out of bed, crashed through a glass table, and bounced off the wall.
These are just a few of the odd injuries out there. There are many more such as straining muscles while getting out of a jacuzzi, shoulder injuries from high fives, numerous animal bites, and athlete's foot from shoes being tied too tight. The craziest stories can't be made up.