By: Daniel Wilkins
Boy, does time fly.
It’s been about a month since the first edition of “Weirdest Baseball Injuries” was released, and I’ve had a great time writing these editions of the series. It’s an honor for me to inform fellow fans of stories that are so odd that they seem fictional, but are real, honest to God.
However, there are somehow more weird injuries that are wonky and weird, so let’s look at even more examples of some of the most obscure, unlikely, and downright confusing injuries in baseball’s long history.
Unnecessary slaughter of a phone book (1994)
While at Spring Training in 1994, knuckleball pitcher Steve Sparks thought that it would be a good idea to rip a phonebook in half. If you’re wondering if he actually could rip the book in half, the answer is no. In fact, he ended up separating his shoulder in the process. I don’t think that Sparks realized that the team doctors were going to check him out, and they wouldn’t be happy if they found out he obtained the injury like this.
Well, surprise surprise, the team did not like Sparks’ tomfoolery and he didn’t make the cut for the 1994 season. He’d crawl through in 1995, though.
He should see a doctor (2007, ?)
Two very talented players both have something in common:
They hurt themselves while throwing up.
Star outfielder in the 1980s Kevin Mitchell strained a muscle while vomiting. It’s not known when it happened, but he didn’t need to be put on the DL. Hall of Fame lefty Tom Glavine broke a rib while vomiting some bad airplane food in 2007. He had worse fate than Mitchell, as he did break his rib, after all. He would be put on the disabled list for the first time in his 22-year career.
Who even eats deer meat? (2005)
After a game in May 2005, Rockies teammates Clint Barmes and Brad Hawpe visited Todd Helton’s ranch for dinner. Barmes reportedly loved the deer meat that he just ate at the ranch and Helton gave him some more to take home. While carrying the package inside, Barmes fell and broke his collarbone. The broken collarbone sidelined Barmes for 3 months and the injury required surgery.
Walk-off celebration gone wrong… again (2010)
While this injury is more serious and dangerous than Chris Coghlan’s injury mentioned in part 2, it still is important to mention both Coghlan and Kendrys Morales, as they both have interesting stories.
On May 29, 2010, then-Angels slugger Kendrys Morales hit a walk-off grand slam. Not a trivial feat by any means, but Morales, while leaping into the arms of his teammates at home plate, broke his leg. He would miss the rest of the 2010 season and all of 2011 as well (along with multiple setbacks in recovery).
It’s fitting, considering that Morales has recently been traded to the A’s. The Moneyball team may not be as strong as it was in 2018, but hopefully Morales can be a puzzle piece to the maze of success against the odds, and the act of catching lightning in a bottle again.