By: Daniel Wilkins
After a brief hiatus of this series, we are back with more injuries that seem so obscure that they sound fictional. However, this is no fiction tale, so we will dive into the fifth edition of “Weird Baseball Injuries”. Without further ado, here are even more examples of injuries so bizarre that they might just blow your mind.
Should’ve just bought a snowblower (2013)
Even though baseball players work tirelessly in the spring and summer, you can’t forget about when they can sit back and relax for a few months during the offseason in the winter. For a man like Carl Pavano, who comes from Connecticut, it’s not surprising that it snowed over the winter. Pavano was shoveling his driveway when he slipped, fell, and jammed the handle of the shovel into his abdomen.
You might ask yourself,
“Wait… how can a handle of a snow shovel cause an injury to this extent?”
But wait, there’s more.
Pavano thought that this was no big deal, and refused to visit the doctor even though it hurt extremely badly. That was, until he felt “a sudden wave of abdominal pain and nausea”. What happened is that Pavano had lacerated his spleen, and was internally bleeding the entire time (which is why it hurt so bad). Because he was internally bleeding for four days straight, one of his lungs had collapsed, and Pavano was rushed to surgery. Doctors had to remove Pavano’s spleen entirely, and his chest cavity had drained 6 ½ liters of blood.
Pavano already had an injury-riddled season in 2012, and this incident surely didn’t help. He was forced to retire in 2014 and followed that up by working as an analyst for the Marlins from 2014 to 2017.
But… it’s a treadmill (1999)
Many people have gym memberships and don’t use them. Some have gym memberships but only use aerobic machines like ellipticals and treadmills. While they seem easygoing and fun, these aerobic activities were not meant for Moises Alou.
Alou, the outfielder known for being on the wrong end of the Steve Bartman incident, missed the entire 1999 season due to a torn ACL. Similar to how Mets pitcher Joe Smith obtained this injury, Alou tore his ACL while working out. Reportedly, he fell off of the treadmill. If that wasn’t bad enough, Alou hurt his knee one year later in 2000 when he fell off his bicycle while riding with his son.
Maybe, stick to free weights or the mechanical bike at the gym.
Just get boneless wings (2016)
Erick Aybar, the shortstop who was playing for Atlanta at the time, had to be scratched from the starting lineup one day for a reason that is truly fowl:
Doctors had to sedate him to remove a chicken bone that was stuck in his throat. Yuck.
From personal experience, I’ve accidentally swallowed a pistachio shell, some chewing gum, and a few sunflower seeds. But, how in the world do you accidentally swallow a chicken bone?
Mr. Aybar, just get boneless wings the next time you’re out to eat.
Being on base too much (2009)
While Mark Teixeira was known for having boatloads of power, he was also a man who frequently got on base, posting a .360 OBP in his career. When Tex was a brand new Yankee in 2009, he was getting on base a lot. In fact, after his first 22 games as a Yankee, he was getting on base so much that his legs were tired and he needed a rest day.
Frostbite in August (1993)
Rickey Henderson is argued as one of the greatest players that has ever played the game of baseball. Statistically, he is baseball’s best base-stealer and best run-scorer, and that’s just a fact. However, even though he was a great player, he wasn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. In the mid-1980s, he bragged to Yankees teammates that he could see the “entire state building” (as opposed to the Empire State Building) from his New York condo. While this bizarre injury isn’t entirely his fault, it kind of is at the same time.
See, Henderson had fallen asleep with an ice pack on his foot. Since he was asleep, he couldn’t feel the ice, and he had developed frostbite on his ankle… in the middle of August… in Oakland, a city in sunny California. Henderson missed three games and then was back in the lineup for the A’s.