Gargantuan southpaw hurler Randy Johnson struck out 4,875 petrified Major League batters during his historic career, finishing with the second-most strikeouts behind chucker Nolan Ryan. But none of them was more powerful than the one that didn’t even count as an official pitch – the explosion of a dove.
It was March 24, 2001 during one of big ole’ Randy’s final outings of spring training. Fans were zoned in, yet nobody could’ve prepared for what was to come. The smithereens that would be left from the rarest of possible collisions.
“It exploded, feathers and everything, just ‘poof!'” said Calvin Murray, who was facing the 6-foot-11 Johnson in that moment. “There were nothing but feathers laying on home plate. I never saw the ball, nothing but feathers.”
It’s been 16 years to the day that fellow birds watched their heroic family member take the plunge, and we’re here to pay homage to a vicious fastball, a fearless flyer, and a probably never-again moment.
This was a sight most never thought possible. As it turns out, Adam Wainwright came close to nailing a similar interrupter of baseball games..
It’s not aviary day that you see that! 🐦🐦 pic.twitter.com/JTaOLgtTwb
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) June 28, 2016