As they say in baseball, “that’s one pitch I bet he’d like to have back.”
A minor league baseball game proved fatal for a poor bird who flew into the path of a fastball and died Saturday in Indiana.
Jon Maciel, a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers’ Class-A team the West Michigan Whitecaps, threw a 2-1 pitch to the Fort Wayne TinCaps’ Josh VanMeter when it hit a bird before arriving at the plate.
The bird fell to the ground and died as everyone on the field and the announcers Mike Couzens and Javier DeJesus tried to figure out what happened.
“Is that a bird on the field? What is that?” Couzens asked.
“I think so,” replied DeJesus.
A bat boy began to run out to remove the animal, but was stopped. An assistant groundskeeper, who donned a batting glove on his right hand, then picked the bird up and ran into the dugout.
Melissa Darby, the TinCaps’ video production manager, told the Daily News the incident caught everyone by surprise.
“It took a few seconds to realize what was going on,” she said.
Darby also said they could not identify what type of bird it was.
The two announcers discussed what type of pitch caused the bird’s death. After hearing it was a fastball, Couzens then joked it turned into a breaking ball after striking the bird.
The TinCaps, the Class-A affiliate for the San Diego Padres, lost the game 8-4.
The wild scene was reminiscent of — thought not nearly as graphic as — another famous pitch thrown by Randy Johnson in a 2001 spring training game that also killed a bird.
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