In a bizarre incident before a baseball game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday, Diamondbacks right-hander Zac Gallen’s warmup throw tragically struck and killed a bird.
Gallen was practicing when his curveball accidentally hit a bird. The unexpected incident was captured on video by the Bally Sports Arizona television crew and aired during the game broadcast.
The unfortunate event places Gallen in an unusual category with two Baseball Hall of Famers, Randy Johnson and Dave Winfield, who have also accidentally killed birds during baseball games.
Randy Johnson, pitching for the Diamondbacks during a 2001 spring training game, unintentionally hit a bird who had flown in front of home plate. This incident resulted in an explosion of feathers, killing the bird.
A similar situation led to legal consequences for Dave Winfield in August 1983. Then a player for the New York Yankees, Winfield hit and killed a seagull with a warmup throw in Toronto. As a result, he was charged with animal cruelty, leading to a brief stay at a Toronto police station, although the charges were later dropped.
In Gallen’s case, he described the event as an “unfortunate” and “freak accident.” He added, “I don’t really know what happened, honestly. I just know that the ball changed directions really. I saw what happened.”