While the Giants played a nail-biter of a game 7, bringing in their ace pitcher as a reliever, former A's slugger Jose Canseco trended on Twitter for a very different reason: while cleaning his weapon in the kitchen, Canseco had apparently managed to shoot himself in the hand. Canseco's fiancee, Lelia Knight, took to social media to ask fans to pray for his finger.While some tweets certainly wished the athlete well, the majority wondered at how he'd managed to injure himself, and reminding him (and other readers) that the absolute first rule of gun safety is to assume the gun is loaded at all times. As much as Twitter enjoys a good laugh, Canseco is by no means the first or only athlete to make news with a self inflicted gun injury. In 2008, ESPN reported that Giants receiver Plaxico Burress received treatment after a gunshot wound to his thigh. Unlike Canseco, whose injury took place while he was at home, Burress was at New York nightclub when the accidental shooting occurred.
Perhaps because of how athletes may have attained the pinnacle of human achievement, there is a certain delightful schadenfreude when they do boneheaded things, just like the rest of the world. Some of the greatest dope-slap injuries come from sports stars.
Canseco was at least retired when his bizarre injury occurred; for many baseball players, their injuries had a definite affect on their teams. In 2004, Sammy Sosa sneezed one too many sneezes, and missed the entire month of May due to back spasms. Meanwhile, Trot Nixon missed a huge part of the 2004 season because he got stubborn about flying home after a road trip. The drive led to herniated discs in his back, and then to add insult to his Jose Canseco style injury, he aggravated a quadriceps injury trying to return too soon.
In 1992, Tom Glavine was a pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. He pitched through a broken rib, an injury that was said to have been caused by intense vomiting after an in-flight meal gave him food poisoning.
In 2006, Tigers reliever Joel Zamaya missed three games of the ACLS because he'd inflamed his wrist and forearm playing Guitar Hero with his kid.
Also in 2006, Clint Barnes of the Pittsburgh Pirates managed to break his collarbone carrying frozen venison up stairs. The venison was a gift from a teammate. Perhaps Jose Canseco could teach him how to lift?
Best of all--and perhaps the injury Canseco is most likely to emulate next--Hall of Famer George Brett broke a toe in 1983 as he ran from the kitchen into the living room. Why was he running?
To catch a replay of himself on TV.
Jose Canseco, meanwhile, underwent surgery for his hand, and appears to be recovering.[Image from Wikimedia]