OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Arizona Diamondbacks pitchers aspire to be like Randy Johnson. Zac Gallen unintentionally got really close in emulating the Hall of Famer.
While warming up in the outfield before Arizona’s game at Oakland on Wednesday, Gallen threw a curveball that hit a bird in midflight, killing the animal.
“I don’t really know what happened, honestly,” Gallen said. “I just know that the ball changed directions really. I saw what happened. It’s kind of a freak accident. It’s unfortunate.”
The throw was captured by cameras for Diamondbacks’ broadcaster Bally Sports Arizona.
Johnson infamously killed a bird during a spring training game in 2001. While throwing a pitch against the San Francisco Giants, a bird crossed in front of home plate and was destroyed by the baseball. Gallen was only 5 when that happened.
“I don’t remember it as a kid,” he said. “But I’ve seen the clip many times.”
Gallen’s incident happened one day before the anniversary of Johnson pitching a perfect game for Arizona against the Atlanta Braves in 2004.