High School pitcher Ryne Elvers will have quite a story to tell for a long time regarding his career as a high school pitcher.
The Illinois pitcher out of Sacred Heart-Griffin H.S. in Springfield was facing local rivals from Southeast High when the incident happened. In an 0-1 count, Elvers wound up to try and zing in another fastball past the opposing hitter Robbie Cooper to get that pivotal second strike when the unthinkable happened.
Instead of the ball reaching the plate and the hearing a resounding “ball” or “strike” call from the home plate unpire, all that was heard was a “thump”, accompanied by a barrage of feathers.
Based on past histories with the “Big Unit” Randy Johnson, where his Major League fastball ended quite unfortunatley for the feathered friend that it struck, the outlook was bleak for Elvers run in. However, shortly after a dazed crowd realized what happened, the bird gathered itself and quickly flew off, seemingly healthy enough to escape it’s near death event.
According to the Springfield based Journal Register, Elvers brushed off the incident with a small laugh, thankful of course there was no harm to the bird, and finished his impressive outing only allowing 3 hits in 5 1/3 innings pitched.
“I felt OK,” he told the Journal-Register. “I didn’t have my best stuff, and they’re a good hitting team. Every ground ball… the defense did the job. Without those double plays they would have scored two or three more runs.”
Have you ever had an experience like Ryne Elvers where nature and sports have collided?