Josh Beckett and the Strangest Spring Training Mishaps Ever
On Monday, Josh Beckett was struck in the head with a ball during batting practice at the Red Sox spring training camp. Thankfully, he is OK and he should not miss any regular-season time.
These kinds of freak accidents happen every single year in spring training. We wanted to find the strangest of the strange and present them to you in a nice tiny ball, or slideshow in this case.
These can range from someone getting hit in the head with a ball during batting practice, like Beckett just did, to someone blowing a bird to pieces with a fastball, like Randy Johnson.
Here are the strangest spring training mishaps ever.
Josh Beckett Struck in the Head with a Ball During Batting Practice
We might as well start with the titular injury.
Josh Beckett was standing in left-center field when Red Sox staffer Ino Guerrero, who was also in the outfield grass, hit a ball that caught Beckett on the left side of the head. Beckett fell to one knee and is experiencing mild concussion symptoms.
Right now the team doesn't expect him to miss any playing time as a result, but these concussions tend to linger, so you never know how long someone will be out.
It's definitely not the way the Red Sox or Beckett wanted to start out the 2011 season, especially given all the injuries that both player and team suffered last season.
Randy Johnson Blows Up a Bird
This little mishap is perhaps the most famous in spring training history.
It was in 2001 when Johnson was a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He threw a pitch and, out of nowhere, a bird flew directly into the path of the baseball. Before you knew it, there were bird feathers just flying through the air.
The pitch was clocked somewhere around 95 mph. If you are an animal lover, it's not an easy video to watch, but for everyone else, this is probably the funniest spring training mishap of all-time.
Joe Nathan Rips Up Elbow, But Tries To Pitch Through It
The Twins approached disaster last spring when their All-Star closer, Joe Nathan, felt a twinge in his elbow during spring training. To his credit he tried to pitch through the pain, but after only one more appearance he underwent Tommy John surgery.
The Twins went on to win the American League Central in 2010, and they look to improve their success in the playoffs this year with a healthy Nathan at the back end of the bullpen.
Brad Bergesen Sprains Shoulder...Filming a Commercial
The Baltimore Orioles have had a rough go of things since 1998, and this injury to pitcher Brad Bergesen in the spring of 2010 didn't provide a lot of hope.
Bergesen was filming a television commercial for the Orioles upcoming season and ended up with a strained shoulder. Sometimes the stories just write themselves.
Hopefully things go better for Bergesen and the Orioles in 2011.
Hunter Pence Suffers Knee and Finger Lacerations Walking Through Glass Door
I have never seen a pane of glass so clean and clear that I would walk right through it, but I am not Hunter Pence.
In 2010, Pence suffered lacerations on his knees and his right index finger after he walked through a glass door. Supposedly the incident happened after he was in a hot tub with a female companion, so at least he was happy before he walked through glass.
Matt Williams Breaks Leg Tripping Himself
When Matt Williams was in his prime, he was one of the best third baseman in baseball. He could have been the one to break Roger Maris' home-run record in 1994 if not for the players' strike.
However, in spring training with the Diamondbacks in 2002, Williams broke his leg by tripping over his own two feet. Not the best moment for the quick-footed third baseman.
Ray Fosse Trips in a Hole Along the First Base Line
Ray Fosse's most infamous baseball moment came in the 1970 All-Star Game when Pete Rose plowed right through him to score the winning run.
In the spring of 1978, Fosse was running along the first-base line, which apparently the grounds crew didn't manage very well, and tripped over a hole in the dirt. He ripped his leg apart as a result of the incident and even though he tried to play for a couple more seasons after that, his career was basically over.
Ryan Church and Marlon Anderson Collide
The New York Mets have been irrelevant for the last four years, soon to be five because they aren't going to do anything this year either. This spring training incident was just one of many freak things that have happened to this team.
In 2008, while chasing a pop-up, Ryan Church and Marlon Anderson smashed into each other and Church suffered a serious concussion as a result.
Willie Mays Cuts Leg Trying to Score
Often we will hear stories about how the game has changed so much over the years and players today are spoiled. Back in the day, spring training and All-Star games were taken seriously by the players.
For instance, in 1959 Willie Mays was busting his butt trying to score on a play. As he got near the plate the opposing catcher's shin guard caught Mays' leg and ripped it open. The cut required some stitches, but Mays did not miss any regular-season action.