Baron Davis RIPS on Kirilenko: May 11, 2007
After upsetting the heavily-favored Dallas Mavericks and league MVP Dirk Nowitzki in the first round of the '07 NBA playoffs, the 8th-seed Golden State Warriors were basically playing with house money (to borrow a popular phrase from their announcer Bob Fitzgerald.)
Utah would be next, and though they ultimately ended the Warriors' magical run with a 4-1 series win, Warriors guard Baron Davis delivered the highlight of the series, if not the entire 2007 NBA Playoffs.
In the waning minutes of what would be the Dubs' only win, Davis took a pass near the three-point line, went around Deron Williams way too easily, and found daylight along the left baseline. Jazz F Andrei Kirilenko came to help, but there was nothing to be done except foul Davis as he administered the facial. The slam put GS up 22 with 2:48 remaining in the 4th.
Notes: Davis missed the free throw...and received a T for the jersey lift. Also note GS center Andris Biedrins' lack of excitement for his teammate. Perhaps it's a European brotherhood thing.
Bo Scales The Wall: July 11, 1990
Bo Jackson performed many, many superhuman acts on the diamond and the gridiron. Legend lends to exaggeration; while it is not true that Bo once hit a football out of a major league ballpark or that he rounded first base so fast a small fire started, he did once literally run up a wall.
It took place at old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. The batter was OF Joe Orsulak, squaring off against Pete Filson in what I believe to be a makeup of an April rainout. (There are two separate one-game KC/BAL "series" on their 1990 schedule with what appears to be a season-opening four-game series interrupted.)
As seen on the scoreboard, KC had just dropped five on the O's in the top of the third (vs. Bob Milacki). Orsulak's drive led off the bottom of the third; Baltimore would eventually come back for a 7-5 win with that same Orsulak—a pest vs. KC in '90 as per the scoreboard—singling in the winning run.
Notes: Willie Wilson is the left fielder. Filson's career ended exactly one month later.
Tyler Colvin Impaled By Bat: Sept. 19, 2010
For years we heard the ominous warnings: if baseball—or more specifically, baseball's bat makers—didn't get a hold on the rising number of shattered bats, somebody was going to get hurt.
Their fears weren't meritless; rare is the game where splintered ash doesn't helicopter itself toward the defense/umps/runners. Still, all on-field personnel managed to avoid injury until Cubs outfielder Tyler Colvin fell victim.
It happened at whatever they were calling Joe Robbie Stadium in 2010; Wellington Castillo was making his ninth career plate appearance while pitcher Brett Sinkbeil made his second of what would be three blasphemous major league appearances (no Marlin should wear #61 after Livan Hernandez and Josh Beckett, IMHO).
Castillo connects on a 2-0 pitch; the ball hopped the LF fence for a double while the jagged end of his bat went into Colvin's chest! Colvin, unaware of the projectile as he tracked the fly ball, would be hospitalized and miss the final two weeks of 2010—but made a full recovery.
Big Ben delivers a head shot: June 13, 2014
Typically, when you hear the terms "quarterback" and "dazed" in the same sentence, it's in reference to said quarterback absorbing a big hit.
In this instance, however, the QB delivered the big hit.
In mid-June 2014, iconic Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger took a few BP swings with the Pirates (rumors of Pedro Alvarez taking scrimmage handoffs at Heinz Field were proven false.)
Out in foul left field, Bucs pitching coach Ray Searage—clearly unimpressed with the two-time Super Bowl champion's hitting prowess—fearlessly worked with his staff.
Big Ben ended up sending a screamer directly to the area occupied by Searage, who was able to shield his head with his hands as Roethlisberger's liner clanged off of it.
Fortunately, the only injury suffered was to Searage's pride.
Two Balls, One Field: August 5, 2014
Sorry to post two recent videos back-to-back; I'm having difficulty locating many of the classics I'm after. Next one will be at least ten years old, promise.
Down 6-1 to the Reds in the 7th, the host Cleveland Indians began to mount a rally. Already with men on the corners and zero out vs. Reds ace Johnny Cueto, the dangerous Yan Gomes struck a long double to right. Lead runner Lonnie Chisenhall scored; back runner David Murphy scooted safely into third base.
What Murphy didn't know: almost simultaneously with Gomes' double hitting the ground, a warmup pitch by Reds' reliever Jumbo Diaz—situated in the visiting bullpen over the RF wall—got away, sailing over the wall and settling in shallow center field.
Murphy, spotting the errant bullpen ball, took off for home. But Reds' SS Zack Cozart held the game ball and quickly erased the now-retreating Murphy at third! Protests by the Tribe went nowhere, as did what was left of Cleveland's rally. They did not score again and eventually lost 9-2.
Note: Diaz never actually got in the game, as Cueto wound up going the distance. When you can squelch a rally without even playing, you're good.
Ken Harvey Is Dangerous: June 6, 2004
In the scope of baseball history, Ken Harvey is a mere speck. 50 years from now, few outside of Kansas City will remember he ever played. During his brief reign as a Royals All-Star (by default) first baseman/DH, the team stunk, the park was dated, and crowds were sparse.
Those who did witness Harvey at his, uh, "best", had to wonder if he'd ever played the game of baseball before. In my 25 years as a hardball fan, I've seen one guy bellyflop across a tarp and get stuck behind it—Ken Harvey. I've seen one guy take a relay throw to the back—Ken Harvey.
And only once have I ever seen a first baseman take out his pitcher with a throw from point-blank range—Mr. Ken Harvey. Boston, down 3-1 in the 6th, loaded the bags vs. Jason Grimsley. Cesar Crespo grounded to first, and Harvey—under the apparent belief Grimsley was a hologram or a specter—opted to fire home through his pitcher.
The result: both men forced out of action for several days (Harvey's shoulder/wrist jammed.) Poor Jason Grimsley; for a background middle reliever, he sure made plenty of news (this play, helping hide Albert Belle's corked bat, getting raided by the Feds instantly ending his career).
Notes: Crespo eventually came around to score the final run of his three-year career, which ended a month later (he had his final MLB hit earlier in the game.) Boston plated five runs in the inning and won 5-3; Grimsley took the loss, facing three batters and retiring none of them. Kelly Stinnett was the catcher, and Kevin Millar scored the run on Crespo's grounder.