MLB

5 Freaky Injuries Suffered by Athletes off the Field

MLB greats Wade Boggs and Rickey Henderson at the 2007 All-Star Legends Softball Game

Hockey fans in St. Louis celebrated after the first Stanley Cup victory in the Blue’s 52-year history. Now that they’ve won the title, let’s hope the skaters take some time off to relax, unwind, and avoid unnecessary injuries.

Athletes getting hurt off the field aren’t uncommon. In fact, some of the injuries were pretty bizarre. For example, in 2002, Orioles’ outfielder Marty Cordova sustained a severe “sunburn” after falling asleep in a tanning bed. Doctors told him to avoid direct sunlight, so Cordova sat the bench for several games.

The following five players got hurt in some strange ways when they weren’t in uniform. Would you make the same mistakes?

5. Rickey Henderson’s skin burn

Rickey Henderson of the New York Yankees
Outfielder Rickey Henderson of the New York Yankees | Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Ice can burn you in much the same way as heat. Rickey Henderson learned this the hard way in 1993. Recently traded to Toronto, the Blue Jays outfielder fell asleep as he iced his left foot. The resulting skin burn benched the player briefly. Henderson explained he wasn’t aware he’d done any damage and later told the press, “It didn’t hurt until I took it off, and then, WOW!”

4. Glenallen Hill’s nightmare

Arachnophobia (the medical term for a fear of spiders) is shared by so many people that Hollywood made a feature film about the phobia in 1990. That same year, Angels outfielder Glenallen Hill had such a terrifying nightmare about spiders that he fell through a glass table. Consequently, Hill had to sit out a game. 

3. Sammy Sosa seriously sneezes

Following two violent sneezes off the field in 2004, slugger Sammy Sosa suffered a sprained ligament and significant back spasms. The right fielder was temporarily benched. I guess we should give a belated “bless you” to this potential Hall-of-Famer.

2. Jeff Kent’s car-washing accident

The results of a car crash can be catastrophic. But for Jeff Kent, simply cleaning his vehicle injured him. While washing his truck, the MLB player slipped from atop the cab and fell six feet to the ground, breaking his wrist and landing on the DL for the first four games of the upcoming season. 

1. Wade Boggs’ boot removal

In 1986, the legendary batter was trying to achieve a .400 batting average. Off the field, Wade Boggs made himself comfy at a hotel room one night and tried to remove his cowboy boots. Attempting to leverage one shoe, Boggs lost his balance and bruised his ribs on a couch arm. Barely able to breathe, he missed six games because his ribs weren’t healing. Sadly, Boggs didn’t hit .400 that season.

BONUS: George Norman’s close call with a chainsaw

While doing some routine landscaping, PGA great George Norman nearly lost his left limb to a chainsaw. In an Instagram post from the hospital, he shared an important lesson: “[When] working with a chainsaw, ALWAYS be respectful of the unexpected. I was one lucky man today. Damaged, but not down & out.”

Norman went on to say he was grateful he still had his left hand. Golf fans were happy to see his injury wasn’t more severe.