It is not generally a spring instruction video game goes down as one of most memorable games in MLB historical past, but 21 several years back, Randy Johnson gave one particular of the most notorious times when his pitch didn’t make it to property plate Instead, it strike a hen.
A Corridor of Famer who gained 303 games in 22 seasons, Johnson was pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks on March 24, 2001, in a spring instruction video game in opposition to the San Francisco Giants in Tucson, Arizona.
The still left-handed Johnson was set to toss a pitch in the 7th inning when a hen flew in. The ball hit the fowl as it flew in entrance of dwelling plate.
This is why this moment grew to become so legendary:
- Randy Johnson was known for throwing a fastball that could attain in excess of 100 mph.
- It’s not each individual working day you see a dove explode in front of residence plate, and this was all caught on digicam.
- YouTube videos of “Randy Johnson hits bird” have wracked up hundreds of thousands of sights over the many years, with one particular by itself exceeding 5.8 million sights.
20-one several years afterwards, the pitch nonetheless lives in infamy, but not many know what happened after the incident. Here’s what we know about the pitch that failed to rely.
Did the bird die?
Video shows feathers slipping off the hen, which was possible a mourning dove, as it falls to the ground. Rod Barajas, the catcher at the time, stated “all you see is an explosion.”
How rapid was the pitch?
In get to identify the pace of a pitch, the ball requirements to get to house plate. Because the bird was strike ahead of the catcher received the ball, there was hardly ever a confirmed pace.
Nonetheless, Cronkite News in Arizona believed the fastball was all-around 100 mph.
Was it a strike?
The pitch was neither a strike nor a ball.
There is no rule that states what takes place if an animal transpires to get in the way of a pitch, so the umpire crew made a decision to phone it a no-pitch for the reason that it failed to get to the plate, basically indicating the pitch in no way statistically occurred.
Who was the batter?
Not greatly regarded, but the Giants batter was Calvin Murray. He performed five seasons in the MLB. You may possibly know his nephew: Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.
What did they do with the chicken?
Immediately after the gamers recognized what had transpired, Giants second baseman Jeff Kent went on the subject and picked up the chicken with his bare hands and pointed it toward Johnson although smiling. He took it back again to the dugout, but it is unidentified what occurred afterward.
A grounds crew member then picked and cleaned up the feathers that were on the discipline.
What did Randy Johnson feel of it?
Johnson was not amused with Kent’s joke, telling ESPN, “I didn’t feel it was all that funny.” When describing what happened in an job interview with Fox Sports activities Arizona in 2016, Johnson claimed it was “a blur.”
“It’s just difficult to truly put that into viewpoint. It occurred so speedy,” he reported.
It appears that Johnson has lightened up about the incident about time.
Just after retiring from baseball adhering to the 2009 year, Johnson began his have photography business. His symbol? A dead bird with feathers in the air.
Is this the first time a hen was killed throughout a baseball game?
There are extra birds that have fallen victim to baseball. ESPN mentioned previous Yankee outfielder Dave Winfield killed a seagull on a heat-up toss on Aug. 4, 1983 in Toronto. The incident was so major, Ontario law enforcement arrested Winfield soon after the activity and charged him with animal cruelty, but rates were later on dropped.
It can be transpired in the minors also. In 2014, Jonathan Maciel was pitching for the West Michigan Whitecaps in Course-A when he appeared to hit a black chicken. A grounds crew member went out and picked up the bird’s body.
“I hope it’s Alright,” one broadcaster said.
Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.