As far as weird sports anniversaries go, today is one of the more odd ones. It is 20 years to the day Randy Johnson killed a bird with a fastball.
The incident happened during a spring training game between Johnson’s Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Francisco Giants. Facing Giants outfielder Calvin Murray, Johnson reared back and delivered one of his blazing fastballs.
The pitch never made it to catcher Rod Barajas. An unlucky low-flying dove somehow ventured directly into the path of Johnson’s heater. The bird was killed instantly by the pitch and essentially exploded.
Video of the event is now ingrained in baseball lore. On the 20th anniversary, it has gone viral.
20 years ago… Randy Johnson and the bird 😳
— Bleacher Report MLB (@BR_MLB) March 24, 2021
— Pablo S. Torre (@PabloTorre) March 24, 2021
Twenty years ago Randy Johnson killed a bird with his pitch. This may be the most remarkable baseball highlight of all time. pic.twitter.com/kh2U56C1c5
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) March 24, 2021
This Wednesday marks 20 years since The Day Randy Johnson Killed A Bird With His Fastball.
The only footage that exists came from a grainy coach’s camera beyond the center field wall.pic.twitter.com/8xlIeaRGcE
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) March 23, 2021
Twenty years ago, a bird darted in front of a Randy Johnson fastball. It exploded into a cloud of feathers, an image burned in the minds of those who saw it.
— Zach Buchanan (@ZHBuchanan) March 23, 2021
As it turns out, Johnson’s bird toss was officially ruled a “no-pitch.” Nothing close to it has ever happened in an MLB game since.
Frankly, we doubt it ever will either.
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