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.