My Favorite Weird Injuries in Baseball

Greg-Lucas-Book

As veteran sportscaster and fine sports author Greg Lucas calls it in “Baseball: It’s More Than Just a Game”, injuries to players that keep them from active service to their clubs, indeed, can be weird. As one who once threw his back out by reaching down to pick up the morning newspaper in the front yard, and earlier, suffered a broken rib from a reunion hug from an old friend, I get it. Any amusement at these incidents experienced by The Pecan Park Eagle comes only as a statement of empathy for all fellow sufferers of improbable pain and inconvenience.

In his book, Greg Lucas provides us with a plethora of fine examples. I wouldn’t attempt  to count and number all the examples that Greg provides because the order and filing of these events isn’t necessary to the point they all make: Not just baseball, but life itself is weird.

When it comes to the appearance of sudden pain and frustration from the occurrence of the improbable, former Astros and Cardinals pitcher Joaquin Andujar probably put it best for all of life when talking specifically about baseball in response to a question about why things happen as they do: “I’ll give you my answer in two words,” said Andujar. “You never know.”

Here are my Ten Favorite Weird Baseball Injuries from Greg Lucas’s book:

10) Former Atlanta pitcher Jamie Easterly pulled a groin while watching TV.

9) Former Astros infielder Geoff Blum had to go on the disabled list after he injured his elbow while putting on his shirt after a game.

8) Pitcher Adam Eaton stabbed himself in the stomach with a knife while trying to remove the shrink wrap on a DVD.

7) Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano injured his elbow from spending too much time on the computer e-mailing friends and family back in Venezuela. (A lot of us need to watch out for this one – and most of us don’t even have a lot of friends and family back in Venezuela.)

6) Pitcher Glen Harris could not work after he sustained an injured elbow from flicking sunflower seeds.

5) Minor leaguer Clarence “Climax” Blethen once bit himself in the butt on a sliding steal attempt at second base. He had been carrying his false teeth in his back pocket.

4) Pitcher Rick Harden once strained his shoulder trying to turn off an alarm clock.

3)  Jose Cardenal missed Opening Day in 1974 because he slept on his eye wrong.

2) Former pitcher Rick Honeycut once was ejected from the mound for defacing the baseball he was using in the game. Immediately thereafter, Honeycut wiped his forehead, only to open a bleeding cut. He was still wearing the taped tack on the hand he had been using to doctor the baseballs.

1) This one also belongs on the “Dumb and Dumber” List as well. – 2015 Hall of Fame Inductee John Smoltz once burned his chest by attempting to iron his shirt while he was still wearing it. (Maybe they should inscribe that feat on poor John’s new Cooperstown plaque.)

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5 Responses to “My Favorite Weird Injuries in Baseball”

  1. Rick B. Says:

    The #1 most-gruesome sounding weird injury: In 2008, the Cubs’ Felix Pie temporarily lost his outfield spot when he had to undergo surgery for “testicular torsion.”

  2. Bill Hickman Says:

    Here is a case that was not only weird, but resulted in a fatality. Former major league umpire Vincent D. Hudson (Union Association – 1884) fell from the porch roof of a boarding house while sleepwalking. He died in a hospital in Altoona, PA on March 24, 1898 from injuries sustained in the fall a few days earlier. He was only about 40 years old when he died.

  3. Junie Says:

    *I think* Joaquin’s quote is a bit off … He said, “You can sum up this sport in two words: you never know.” AND, nobody ever snaps to the fact that he was speaking English but thinking in his native Spanish … “you never know” is two words in Spanish …

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      Juniie – You are right, of course, but that is simply how things seem to work in our culture, for better or worse. Once something sounds funny to our ears, we rarely, if over, go searching for a deeper understanding that will explain away the amusement we have found in our first interpretation – even if we keep dragging out the punchline in paraphrased form with each retelling of the original quotation.

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