James McCann hit a bird with a foul ball


Invoking the spirit of former big league pitcher Randy Johnson, Tigers catcher James McCann (no relation to fellow catcher Brian) hit a bird with a foul ball in Friday’s Grapefruit League action against the Braves. WDIV Local 4 in Detroit has video of the incident.

The bird was perched atop the protected netting behind home plate. McCann hit a foul ball and the bird was immediately struck in a stroke of bad luck. The bird landed in a fan’s lap, MLive.com’s James Schmehl reports. McCann eventually reached on a single and was informed of the damage he had inflicted by first base umpire Joe West.

Some may recall Hall of Famer Randy Johnson, then with the Diamondbacks, hit a bird while delivering a pitch during a spring game against the Giants in 2001. Baseball isn’t safe if you have wings, apparently.

McCann’s incident isn’t even the strangest foul ball story. On August 17, 1957, Phillies center fielder Richie Ashburn struck a fan (Alice Roth) with a foul ball, breaking her nose. As she was being carried off in a stretcher, Ashburn hit another foul ball back, hitting her a second time.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

albert pujols
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).