Although suffering injuries is simply considered a part of the sport, no one likes to see a baseball player get hurt, especially if it puts them on the bench, out for the season, or ends a career. Even MLB fans in the stands are subject to potentially deadly injuries from 100-plus mph line drives and foul balls reaching the seats.
To say that some of the injuries in Major League Baseball are strange is putting it mildly when you consider 2015 AL Rookie of the Year winner Carlos Correa broke a rib during a rub-down off the field. But what about those hurt during games? What are some of the most bizarre and strangest injuries ever seen in a Major League Baseball game? Here’s our list of six of the weirdest ways players have wound up on the injury roster.
6. Mickey Mantle — knee
Arguably one of the best Yankees and greatest center fielders to ever play the game, Mickey Mantle stood in the outfield during the 1951 World Series when a ball hit by another legendary player, Willy Mays of the Giants, headed for right-center field. Mantle gave up the play to fellow teammate and heavy hitter Joe DiMaggio, but not before one of Mickey’s cleats got tangled up in an underground sprinkler apparatus and he went down with a sprained knee that took him out for the remainder of the series.
5. Jason Kipnis — hamstring
The award for most ironic injury goes to rookie Jason Kipnis who was performing some pre-game stretches in 2011 to avoid pulling or straining a muscle when he ended up pulling his hamstring. Kipnis’ right thigh continues to plague him with ongoing problems with the muscle.
4. Chris Snyder — testicle
Hundreds of thousands of mostly male baseball fans collectively cringed when catcher Chris Snyder took a foul tip from a batter directly to the groin and ruptured his testicle. This very fowl foul ball put the Diamondback on the disabled list for over two weeks.
3. Brian Duensing — elbow
A blunder in the bullpen took Baltimore’s Brian Duensing out for a significant amount of time during the 2016 season. In an attempt to adjust a chair while taking a break from the mound, Duensing injured his elbow. If that wasn’t bad enough, the injury later required surgery. Not only was Duensing’s blunder one of the strangest injuries we’ve ever seen in baseball, but it has to be one of the most embarrassing, too.
2. Johan Camargo — knee
Our number two selection in the runner-up position happened when Atlanta Braves Johan Camargo jogged onto the field in 2017 and somehow managed to trip over the base path and hyperextended his knee. Although there wasn’t significant structural damage, Camargo’s stumble still put him on the bench for nearly a month.
1. Clarence Blethen — buttock
For our most bizarre entry on this list, we have to go way back to 1923 when rookie pitcher Clarence Blethen bit himself on the bottom.
Wait, what, did I read that right, how is that even possible?
Blethen believed he looked more fierce without his dentures in, so before taking the mound, he removed his false teeth and placed them into his back pocket. It led to one of the strangest injuries in baseball history.
Blethen should have also batted while wearing his dentures because the falsies took a sizeable chunk out of one his buttocks when he slid into second base. The wound bled profusely. Blethen left the playing field and didn’t return to the game. It’s unlikely this player from the past forgot about his chompers when batting later on during his career.
Running into a wall chasing a ball is fairly commonplace in MLB, but it was anything but routine for Doc Powers. He chased down a foul pop-up in a 1909 game and collided with the wall. That collision proved to be fatal as it later cost Powers his life. He was the first in Major League Baseball history to die as a result of his injuries while playing this sport.