What are the Odds? Randy Johnson's Dove Incident: An Unforgettable Collision on the Baseball Field
May 23, 2023
On March 24, 2001, a preseason game occurred in Major League Baseball (MLB) between the San Francisco Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks. On the pitcher's mound stood none other than Randy Johnson, also known as "The Big Unit." Johnson, a towering pitcher measuring nearly 2.1 meters, was renowned for his immense strength and ability to throw balls at incredible speeds. He was one of the most dominant pitchers of his time, with a career spanning over two decades.
During this game, Johnson, as he often did, delivered a powerful pitch. Meanwhile, a dove flew across the field in an almost incomprehensible coincidence. The unbelievable happened—the dove collided with the ball.
The ball, thrown at a speed that nearly reached 100 mph, struck the dove right as it crossed the path of the pitch. The effect was immediate and tragic for the dove, which exploded into a cloud of feathers.
Randy Johnson hits bird
On and off the field, everyone stood in shock. What were the odds of a bird crossing the field precisely when one of the fastest balls ever thrown was in motion? Typically unfazed by most things on the field, Johnson seemed surprised and took a few steps back after the collision.
Cameras captured the incident, and it wasn't just those who had witnessed it discussing this bizarre situation. News of the unfortunate dove and Randy Johnson's powerful throw spread quickly. Video clips of the event went viral online, bringing even more attention to this shocking incident.
Perhaps most surprising is that despite the unexpected and shocking nature of the situation, there were no consequences for the game. No penalties were given for the unfortunate collision with the dove, and the match continued as planned. There is no rule in baseball against unintentional interaction with wildlife on the field.
However, the unfortunate dove did not survive the collision. The brutal encounter with a ball thrown with such force resulted in instant death for the bird. Despite the bird's sad fate, this incident has generated much discussion and retelling.
Randy Johnson's "dove incident" has become one of the most memorable moments in MLB history. It is an example of the unpredictable and bizarre events that can occur in sports and a reminder of the unusual situations that can arise when humans and wildlife intersect on the field.