Skip to Content

An In-Depth Look at the Time Randy Johnson Hit a Bird

An In-Depth Look at the Time Randy Johnson Hit a Bird

Sports fans around the world remember the time Randy Johnson hit a bird with a pitch, but few know what really happened. In this post, we will provide an in-depth look at the events of that fateful day and show how it’s possible to be hit by a ball without even knowing.

In a spring training game on March 24, 2001, Randy Johnson, better known as the “Big Unit,” hit a bird with a pitch. In the 7th inning, Randy Johnson threw a fastball but unintentionally hit an flying dove.

During the Play Time

During the match between The San Francisco Giants and The Arizona Diamondbacks, on March 24, 2001 at Tucson, Arizona, during the 7th inning, then Diamondbacks pitcher Randy Johnson hit a dove that was flying across the ball field with his fast fastball. This is known as “bird-ball”.

He was about to do a fast ball, Calvin Murray of San Francisco was up to bat, when the bird collided with the baseball at an estimated speed of 103 MPH (about 200 kilometers/hour) and thus killing it on the spot.

The only time a bird was killed by a baseball in franchise history occurred during this episode. The next day, Randy Johnson apologized and said, “I had no idea the ball would strike the dove. I’ve never seen a dead pigeon on the field before.” And he added about Jeff Kent’s remark, “I didn’t think it was all that funny”.

It was considered by the Umpire as “no pitch” play and no runner was allowed to advance. The game continued afterward and Randy Johnson completed his pitching duties in the inning.

Is This Incident Rather Common?

A dead bird is not an uncommon thing to see on a ballfield, but it’s certainly the first time one has been killed by a pitch. In fact, this event is so rare that it only happened one other time in MLB history.

In 2001, Jeff Kent of the San Francisco Giants made a remark about the bird being killed, saying “That’s pretty funny. I’ve never seen that before.” This was met with mixed reactions from fans and players alike. Some found it humorous, while others felt that it was in poor taste.

Many people may not know that this was not the first time a bird has been killed by a baseball. In fact, it’s actually quite common for birds to get hit by balls during games. However, it’s very rare for them to die as a result.

Who else has struck a bird during a game?

There was no other player or pitcher in the MLB that has struck a bird during the game. But in Class- A Minor League Baseball a pitcher from the West Michigan Whitecaps, Jonathan Maciel also struck a bird while pitching for a game at Fort Wayne, Indiana which is affiliated with the Detroit Tigers.

The bird was alive but not well as it was seen trembling on the ground after being hit. It did manage to fly away with the help of players and fans after it regained its strength. The incident was later on described as a “freak accident”.

An In-Depth Look at the Time Randy Johnson Hit a Bird

What did people think about the event at the time? (Time Randy Johnson Hit a Bird)

Some viewed Johnson’s feat as an example of karma; others felt it might be bad luck. Many fans criticized Johnson’s choice to go on pitching instead of stopping after he hit the bird, calling it a jerk move.

A baseball hitting a bird in mid-flight is not an unusual sight and it doesn’t usually cause much concern. However, the death of this one was certainly significant to many fans who consider Johnson’s reaction unprofessional.

What did Johnson think about the incident?

He hadn’t noticed that he killed any birds while pitching in his many years of professional baseball, and felt really bad that it happened during such an important game.

However, he decided not to change his style and stop pitching after hitting the bird because:

  • He doesn’t believe that birds, or any other creatures for that matter, are capable of bad luck.
  • And because it’s not really his style to stop pitching.

Are there negative impacts on Johnson Career?

No, there is no negative impact on Johnson’s career because of this incident.

Randy Johnson killed a bird with his fastball during a game in 2001. This was the only time in MLB history that a bird has been killed by a pitch. Some people may find it humorous, while others feel that it was in poor taste. Many people criticized Johnson’s choice to continue pitching instead of stopping after the bird was hit.

However, this event did not affect his career or legacy in any way. He felt really bad about it and didn’t believe that birds were capable of bringing him bad luck.

In fact this incident has since become one of his most memorable moments during his long MLB career.

Major League Baseball Hall of Fame

Pitcher Randy Johnson became the only player in MLB history to hit and kill a bird with his fastball while pitching. Many people have also struck birds during games, but none of them have done it as successfully as Johnson did.

People may interpret this as either a negative or a good omen, with some thinking it is an unfortunate occurrence while others see it as fortunate. But in the end, this major event made Pitcher Randy Johnson from Arizona Diamondbacks become famous for his one of a kind achievement and is now in the MLB hall of fame.

How fast is a Fastball?

A fastball is a type of pitch in baseball thrown by a pitcher from the mound to the batter. It is usually the fastest pitch a pitcher can throw.

A fastball can be up to 30% faster than a pitcher’s other pitches, but the exact velocity depends on many factors including the rotation of the ball and how hard it is thrown by the pitcher.

The average MLB fastball today has reached speeds around 95 mph (153 km/h). However, in some cases pitchers have been able to throw much harder than that.

Randy Johnson for example had one pitch recorded at 100mph during his career while Pedro Martinez’ best fastball was clocked at 101 mph (162 km/h) which made him become famous too because he threw so fast!

But the title was soon taken over by Aroldis Chapman with a speed of 105 mph.

Fastest Pitch Ever in the Major League Baseball

There are many things that go into making a good baseball player. Speed is certainly one of them, and the fastest pitcher in the MLB can throw a fastball at over 100 mph. But what is the fastest pitch in baseball?

That title belongs to Aroldis Chapman of the Cincinnati Reds. He has been clocked throwing a fastball at 105 mph. But that’s not all. Chapman can also throw a slider that comes in at over 90 mph.

Other pitchers can throw hard too, of course. The Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander can reach up to 100 mph on his fastball, and the New York Mets’ Matt Harvey has been known to hit 98 mph.

But for the title of fastest pitcher in baseball, Aroldis Chapman takes the cake. And batters had best be prepared when he’s on the mound!

An In-Depth Look at the Time Randy Johnson Hit a Bird

In Conclusion

Randy Johnson’s bird strike is a memorable moment in sports history, but few people know the full story behind what happened. In this post, we looked at the events of that fateful day and showed how it’s possible to be hit by a ball without even knowing. We also looked at how common it is for these types of incidents to occur and what people can do to avoid them. Thanks for reading!

Other Posts: