Friday marks the 16th anniversary of Randy Johnson drilling a bird
It’s hard to believe it was that long ago, but Friday marks the 16th anniversary of a Randy Johnson pitch obliterating a poor bird caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Johnson, then with the Arizona Diamondbacks, was pitching in a spring training game when a bird ended up smack dab in the line of fastball fire. The poor creature was completely obliterated in a disturbing explosion of feathers.
Oh, the humanity! Or bird-ity. Or whatever.
Interestingly, Chase Anderson, then with the Diamondbacks, coincidentally, nearly Randy Johnson-ed a bird with one of his pitches.
Here’s the Hall of Famer Johnson discussing the baffling confluence of events and how fans ask more about the bird than his considerable career achievements.
“A blur going across home plate. The ball simultaneously hitting that blur,” Johnson once said of the incident. “It’s just hard to really put that in perspective. It happened so quick.”
The bizarre, unforgettable scene has of course become a part of baseball folklore. Bird experts even weighed in on the topic for a Newsweek article, for crying out loud.
FOX Sports Arizona even produced a mini-documentary on the bird-splosion in 2015 entitled, “Requiem for a Bird.”
Johnson obviously has a great sense of humor about the infamous incident, something further evidenced by the fact his photography company’s logo is a dead bird. So there’s that.