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Baseball Hall of Shame – Random, Weird Injuries

When Michael Jordan has the flu, he scores over 40 points in the NBA Finals and usually makes the winning basket at the buzzer. When Tiger Woods plays golf on an injured knee and broken leg he wins the U.S. Open on the 19th hole of a playoff. Emmitt Smith, the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, played with pain and led the Dallas Cowboys to a division-clinching win over the New York Giants despite a dislocated shoulder.

Baseball might have a few stories of this kind, but for me the MLB is best known for random, weird injuries that send a player to the DL. The latest is the greatest. Until last week I had never heard of a pillow-lifting injury in baseball — that is, until Detroit Tigers’ Brandon Inge reported the following details about the injury that brought him “down”:

“It was the stupidest, most freakish thing,” Inge said Wednesday, explaining why he had just been placed on the 15-day DL with the pulled side muscle (oblique) he suffered 3 1/2 weeks ago. “I have a 3-year-old son who sleeps in the bed with my wife and me,” Inge said. “I was trying to push the pillow down behind his head (two nights ago), and when I did … I repopped (the strained muscle). Upon hearing this story, manager Jim Leyland said, “That’s a first.”

It may be the first “pillow push” injury, but it is definitely not the first wacky baseball injury. After a little bit of research, I now present to you those who are a part of the MLB’s weird injury fraternity:

Vince Coleman (Cardinals)
Missed the 1985 World Series after getting rolled up in the field tarp machine. How does a guy as fast as the base-stealing Coleman lose to a tarp machine?

John Smoltz (Braves)
The starting pitcher once burned his chest while ironing a shirt … which he was still wearing. Nice!

Tom Glavine (Braves)
Apparently trying to impress his “iron man” teammate, Glavine broke a rib in 1992 while throwing up airplane food.

Nolan Ryan (Astros)
The Hall of Fame pitcher once missed a start after being bitten on his hand … by a coyote.

Sammy Sosa (Cubs)
Sneezed his way onto the DL with a back injury in 2004.

But my favorite of all is Steve Sparks who dislocated his shoulder when he tried to impersonate a motivational speaker by attempting to rip a phone book in half. What is your favorite? What famous injury did I miss? Your turn…