BASEBALL INJURY HALL of FAME
1. Cardinals speedster Vince Coleman missed the 1985 World Series after he was run over by the automatic tarp machine.
2. Giants head-case third baseman Chris Brown once begged out of the lineup because of a strained eyelid. He claimed he "slept on it wrong."
3. Brewers pitcher Steve Sparks dislocated his shoulder trying to tear a *telephone book* in half as part of a motivational speech.
4. Braves reliever Cecil Upshaw tore up his ring finger on an overhead awning and ended his promising career while demonstrating imaginary basketball dunks.
5. Braves pitcher John Smoltz burned his chest trying to steam iron a shirt HE WAS WEARING AT THE TIME. <<UPDATE: Smoltz has repeatedly and vehemently denied this, meaning it is almost certainly true...>>
6. Slugger Rob Deer, who holds the dubious distinctions of leading the league in strikeouts five times while finishing his career with 556 more strikeouts (1,409) than hits (853), once broke his hand, how else, by striking out.
7. Catcher-DH Mickey Tettleton, one of OOB's all time faves and the reason yours truly wears #15 on his Rangers jersey, once got an infected foot from tying his shoelaces too tight.
8. Rangers pitcher Greg Harris once "strained his elbow" while "flicking sunflower seeds."
9. Cliff Johnson busted his ear drum with Q-tip in the locker room
10. Rick Honeycutt suffered a large scratch across the forehead when he, after being ejected for scuffing the ball with a tack taped to his finger, wiped his brow in frustration.
11. Matt Mantei needed four stitches in his right thumb after cutting it while opening a can of dog food just before Spring Training 2002. Mantei was *already on rehab*.
12. Yankees left-hander Randy Keisler suffered "one of the most innovative baseball injuries of modern times" (according to ESPN, who obviously never saw this list) in May of 2002, when he was bit by a pygmy rattlesnake in his back yard. What made this injury particularly pitiful was that Keisler got hurt while he was already hurt. (He had shoulder surgery the previous October and hasn't pitched since. Now he's out at least another month. At least when David Cone was bitten by his mother's dog a few years ago, he only missed one start.) Asked about Keisler's run of bad luck, Yankees GM Brian Cashman replied: "He's snakebit." YUK.
13. Twins infielder Denny Hocking missed the 2002 AL Championship Series against Anaheim after
injuring the middle finger on his throwing hand during a postgame celebration following Minnesota's Division Series victory over Oakland. Hocking caught the final out in the decisive 5-4 victory and the Twins piled on each other in the middle of the field. A teammate, whom Hocking believed was Jacque Jones, stepped on the middle finger of Hocking's right hand, splitting the nail in two places.
14. In the mid 1970's, the Rangers had a rare left-handed knuckle ball pitcher. According to at least one source, this is entirely true: Pitcher Charlie Hudson inadvertently SHOT HIMSELF IN THE FINGER. According to the book "Seasons in Hell," the league injury report read as follows:
KANSAS CITY: P Steve Busby- Torn Rotator Cuff
CHICAGO: 3B Bill Melton- Pulled Hamstring
TEXAS: P Charlie Hudson- Gunshot Wound
Now that is one of the funniest things I have ever seen...
15. Just before the 2004 season, John Vander Wal of the Cincinnati Reds blew out his knee -- while shoveling snow.
16. Before the start of spring training in 2004, Cubs GM Jim Hendry tripped on a dustpan while carrying his son's birthday present down the stairs. He required reconstructive knee surgery, but still managed to sign Greg Maddux from his hospital bed.
17. Early in spring training 2002, Matt Williams (D'backs 3B) broke his leg when he tripped over his own feet during a workout. Williams, whose later career was injury-filled, was attempting to show the Arizona organization he was healthy enough to start at third again. Healthy enough? Maybe. Too clumsy? Certainly.
18. During spring training 2002, Giants' 2B Jeff Kent suffered a broken wrist, telling the team (and the public) that this injury happened while the slugger was washing his truck. A few days later, though, the truth came out. It seems he was riding his motorcycle when he broke that wrist, an activity expressly forbidden by the second baseman's contract.
But the story doesn't end there. It seems Kent was riding near the Giants' spring ballpark, doing wheelies! Then, after a 911 call due to the injury, he called someone who WORKS FOR THE GIANTS to come get his damaged bike. Little wonder he left SF after that season. Tough break <ba-dum-bum, ching!>
19. KC Royal Mark Quinn decided he'd like a piece of the pre-2002 injury action, too. The right fielder opened the season on the DL because of a broken rib. How did the career .285 hitter manage
such a thing just one week before spring training? Why, he was "kung-fu fighting" with his brother in San Diego, of course!
It seems, in one of his more spectacular moves, he stumbled backwards into a chair and busted up his side. Now, he didn't feel the need to report this to the Royals, mind you, and tried to "play through it," but the "pain was too great."
"You ain't seen nothin' like the Mighty Quinn!"
20. Young Texas Rangers' CF Oddibe McDowell once missed Opening Day because cut his finger buttering a roll. . . at the team's "welcome home luncheon."
21. P Ricky Bones once hurt his lower back getting out of a chair while watching TV in the clubhouse, or so he claimed.
22. The Twins Marty Cordova once had to "limit his playing time in day games," because he fell asleep in a tanning bed.
23. Glenallen Hill, of the Toronto Blue Jays at the time, was deathly afraid of spiders. He cut his foot when he ran into a glass table while sleepwalking. Actually, he was sleeprunning in mortal terror while dreaming he was being chased by a spider. I once spent an entire game singing the "Spiderman" theme at top volume every time he was in the on-deck circle while I was sitting on about the 5th row in old Arlington Stadium. He cried.
24. Matt Anderson, Tigers' relief pitcher, once tore a muscle in his shoulder after participating in an octopus-throwing contest. He was allegedly trying to win Redwings playoff tickets. Anderson "emphatically denied" that this is what happened in many published reports, meaning it must be true, of course.
25. Pittsburgh pitcher Oliver Perez broke his toe kicking a laundry cart after a disappointing start in 2005. This just goes to show you the peril of taking out your displaced aggression on a bunch of dirty socks.
26. The 2005 season also included Colorado rookie phenom Clint Barmes, who was shelved by a broken collarbone incurred when lugging deer meat up his apartment-house steps.
27. Then there was Chicago reliever Mike Remlinger (2005), who injured his finger when he got it caught in a clubhouse recliner. Or so he claimed.
28. Also in 2005, Minnesota's Terry Mulholland rolled over in a hotel bed and had his eye poked "by an unruly pillow feather."
29. Sammy Sosa was once sidelined with back spasms, which claims were caused by his own sneezing.
30. Adam Eaton once landed on the DL when he stabbed himself in the stomach with a paring knife. Suicide attempt? Nope. He was opening a new DVD and got a little ambitious.
31. Lame back injuries are a favorite here at OOB, and the classic is HOF Red Sox 3B Wade Boggs, who once injured his back "straining to put on cowboy boots."