Of all the many crazy maladies, bizarre injuries and comic misfortunes that have sidelined baseball players, it’s safe to assume that before this week, never has a bowl of soup effectively sidelined a major league ballplayer. But that all changed thanks to Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta (not to be confused with Rays pitcher Joel Peralta, who had an unfortunate experience of his own this spring training), who was forced to sit out of Monday’s exhibition game against the New York Mets after he became violently ill after accidentally eating some clam chowder soup in the clubhouse.
Peralta believed he was eating potato soup in the clubhouse before the Tigers took the field against the Mets at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla. Unfortunately — and subsequently, nauseatingly — for him, he did not check closely enough, because what Peralta believed to be a hearty potato soup turned out to be clam chowder, and Peralta just so happens to be allergic to several kinds of seafood.
Said Peralta on Tuesday morning, feeling much better than he was the day before: “I have allergies for shrimp and clams.”
“I thought it was potato soup,” Peralta said. “I didn’t see the name on the soup. I tried to eat it, and I got a bad reaction. Like, in 20 minutes, I know something’s wrong. My stomach is sick, throw up.”
While potato soup and clam chowder can appear very similar and Peralta later said the soup was not labeled, once Peralta took a bite or two, why didn’t the unique flavor and the texture of the clams tip him off that he wasn’t simply dining on some potato soup? “They had potato soup before, too,” Peralta said. “It didn’t smell [like chowder].”
Thankfully, Peralta is no worse for wear, save for all the vomiting, and was in the lineup for Tuesday’s game. But that does not mean the harrowing experience didn’t have an effect on Peralta, not to mention a valuable lesson he should heed in the future.
“I know it is dangerous, but for me, it’s more my stomach,” Peralta said. “I get really sick. Nothing on my face, but throw up a lot.”
Now, who wants chowder?