While not the most physical of sports, baseball and injuries go hand in hand. Nary a week goes by when a pitcher doesn’t make news for having to undergo career-saving (but season ending) Tommy John surgery. Prior to this innovative procedure, many arm injuries for pitchers were career ending.
But then there are the strange, sad and downright silly injuries. The John Smoltz ironing his shirt while wearing it type injuries. The Clint Barmes hurting himself carrying deer meat up the stairs type. The Sammy Sosa sneezing-induced back spasms type.
While these are all fascinating (and debilitating) injuries, we’re here for funny names. So I’ve picked a few of the strangest injuries suffered by people with strange names:
- Glenallen Hill – while nothing is odd about the names Glen or Allen, the combination is somewhat unusual. His name sounds more like a neighborhood or a small mountain than the name of a big league outfielder. But much stranger is how Glenallen received numerous cuts after falling out of bed onto a glass table…while having a nightmare about being covered in spiders. Yes, you heard that right.
- Carlton Loewer – Padres pitcher, whose career was more or less ruined after he suffered severe leg injuries after falling out of a tree stand while hunting.
- Wade Boggs – an odd but often overlooked name due to his fame, Mr. Boggs once hurt his back…putting on some cowboy boots.
- Steve Sparks – while trying to provide a spark to his team by doing the always motivational stunt of ripping a phone book in half, Sparks did more damage to himself than the pesky directory. He ended up dislocating his shoulder in the incident.
- Ricky Bones – Pitcher Ricky Bones (good thing he didn’t go by Dick) injured his lower back…getting out of a chair while watching TV in the clubhouse.
- Oddibe McDowell – had one of the games all-time great names. Also had the misfortune of slicing his hand…while buttering a roll at a yearly welcome lunch held by the Texas Rangers.
- Khalil Greene and Kenny Rogers – Shortstop and Pitcher, respectively, who both suffered from one of baseball’s big injury no-no’s after letting their anger get the best of them. Greene, during a disappointing season with the Padres, took a swing at a storage cabinet after striking out for the 100th time that year, breaking his hand. He missed the rest of the season. The Gambler did something similar while taking a whack at a water cooler, a whack which resulted in Rogers dislocating his pinky finger. However, he did the smartest thing a pitcher can do when taking out his frustrations in an unintelligent manner – he punched the cooler with his non-pitching hand. Take note, little leaguers, take note. (kidding of course – be safe, kids!) However, a far more intelligent thing would be to hit the cooler with a bat, or bust up some clubhouse toilets with a bat – a la Kevin Brown. I’d also suggest either hollering or yodeling to relieve the anger. But that doesn’t seem to be the most popular method for ballplayers. Apparently Kenny Rogers, on that day, didn’t know when to walk away, know when to run…
Moving dirt, throwing bases and re-enacting scenes from ‘Nam also seemed to help minor league manager Phil Wellman blow off some steam:
Okay, some of these names weren’t the funniest of the funny, but I figured I’d try something different…and also introduce y’all to Mr. Wellman, who sure put on a show that evening and reminded me why I love this great game…you never known what you’re gonna see when you go to the ballpark.
You go, Phil Wellman!