Thirteen years after Randy Johnson famously atomized a dove with a fastball, another pitcher has hurled his way into the bird-killing books of baseball history.
Minor league pitcher Jonathan Maciel of the West Michigan Whitecaps registered an avian hit-by-pitch on Sunday, tagging a low-flying bird with an 83 mph pitch during an away game against the Fort Wayne TinCaps.
Unlike like Johnson’s famous feather bomb, this incident was almost indiscernible on camera. The dark, unidentified bird seemed to materialize after contact, flipping to the side and causing confusion at the plate.
It took several moments for the incident to register with the broadcasters in the booth, who couldn’t believe they had just witnessed a repeat of Johnson's famous moment.
“Is that a bird?” one announcer asked.
It was a bird, and its speedy shuffling off of this mortal coil didn’t stop the fellows in the booth from remaining optimistic.
“And we hope that bird's okay,” said one broadcaster.
Maciel later took to Twitter to express his condolences.
Rest in peace, little birdie. We take solace knowing that you passed doing what you loved: Swooping about the ballpark, trolling the away team.
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