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Weird injuries also strike at the ballpark. Memorable ailments include:
Vince Coleman, St. Louis Cardinals
Got rolled up in a tarp machine.

Ken Griffey Jr., Seattle Mariners
Pinched testicle from a tight protective cup.

Clarence Blethen, Boston Red Sox
Forgot his false teeth in his pocket and accidentally "bit" himself with his phony chompers when sliding into second base.

Terry Harper, Atlanta Braves
Separated his shoulder waving home a teammate from the on-deck circle.


CBC SPORTS ONLINE TOP 10Bizarre baseball injuries

Contact sports are the scene of some of the nastiest injuries going. Football and hockey offer no shortage of juicy gashes, broken bones, groin tears and snapped knee ligaments.

Clint Barmes
Colorado Rockies shortstop Clint Barmes joined some elite company by carrying deer meat up the stairs. (CP File Photo)
Baseball players are also familiar with the disabled list. But what truly sets America's pastime apart from other sports are the bizarre ailments suffered by its participants. The sport has a rich, and hilarious, history of athletes missing a start or ending up in rehab after turning the most mundane of tasks into a trip to the infirmary.

In the past couple weeks, Minnesota Twins left-hander Terry Mulholland scratched his right eye by rolling over a loose feather in a hotel pillow, and Chicago Cubs reliever Mike Remlinger broke his left little finger after getting his hand caught between two reclining chairs.

But the kicker came this past weekend when National League Rookie of the Year front-runner Clint Barmes of the Colorado Rockies broke his left collarbone … carrying deer meat up the stairs.

Barmes originally said he returned home cradling a bag of groceries in one hand and holding a sweatshirt in the other. He grew tired of waiting for the elevator to his fourth-floor apartment and decided to take the stairs.

The Colorado shortstop said he then slipped on a stair and, after failing to grasp the hand rail, landed squarely on his left shoulder.

Barmes eventually changed his story, telling the Denver Post he was carrying deer meat given to him by teammate Todd Helton, not groceries, and the rookie reiterated the injury had nothing to do with an ATV ride the two men took together on Helton's property.

Barmes, who is sidelined for three months, may miss out on the end-of-season hardware, but he's joined an enduring list of players injured in oddball circumstances.

Here's a look at some more of the most peculiar injuries ever sustained by baseball athletes away from the diamond:

  1. John Smoltz's irrational ironing
  2. Glenallen Hill's spider nightmares
  3. Wade Boggs's cowboy boot back pain
  4. Sammy Sosa's sneezing spasms
  5. Adam Eaton's DVD stabbing
  6. Bret Barberie's hot sauce
  7. Steve Sparks's motivational mishap
  8. Kevin Mitchell's food follies
  9. Marty Cordova's tanning terror
  10. Jeff Kent's treacherous truck wash


1. John Smoltz, Atlanta Braves
John Smoltz
John Smoltz
John Smoltz is often mentioned as one of the best pitchers of his generation. The comparisons range from Greg Maddux to Pedro Martinez. But one thing is certain – Smoltz will never be mistaken for Martha Stewart.

Smoltz, the anti-domestic diva, once scalded himself while ironing a shirt – while he was wearing it.

Smoltz could write the book on how to throw a split-fingered fastball, but first, he should probably use the free time to read the instruction booklet for his de-wrinkling device.



2. Glenallen Hill, Toronto Blue Jays
Nightmares can induce emotional and psychological stress. For Blue Jays outfielder Glenallen Hill, bad dreams brought on a more tangible pain.

Hill tumbled out of bed and crashed into a glass table while having a nightmare about being covered in spiders.

The cuts he sustained caused Hill to likely become the first athlete ever sidelined due to arachnophobic-related injuries.



3. Wade Boggs, Boston Red Sox
Wade Boggs
Wade Boggs
Boggs was a master at stroking hits and winning batting titles. But on at least one occasion, he should've skipped batting practice in favour of footwear instruction.

The soon-to-be Hall of Famer once strained his back while slipping on a pair of cowboy boots.

The ailment kept Boggs out of the lineup for seven games.



4. Sammy Sosa, Chicago Cubs
Sammy Sosa
Sammy Sosa
Slugger Sammy Sosa captured the imagination of baseball fans during his epic long-ball duel with Mark McGwire during the summer of '98. He also entered baseball's wacky injury fraternity last season when a double-barrelled sneeze brought on back spasms.

Instead of joining his teammates on the field, Sosa spent a Sunday afternoon in the Cubs' clubhouse receiving back treatment.



5. Adam Eaton, San Diego Padres
Adam Eaton
Adam Eaton
Padres hurler Adam Eaton just wanted to kick back and watch a movie. Little did he realize, a few hours later, he'd star in his own thriller at the local emergency room.

Eaton accidentally stabbed himself in the stomach with a paring knife while trying to unwrap a DVD a few years ago.

Eaton described the move as "boneheaded." In in his defence, those fussy plastic wrappers are tricky to bust into. But talk about coming in with the heavy artillery.



6. Bret Barberie, Florida Marlins
Bret Barberie had difficulty landing a steady starting gig in the major leagues during the 1990s. But the utility infielder was forever enshrined in baseball's Injury Hall of Fame with one wipe of the eyes.

The former Montreal Expos draft pick once missed a game while a member of the Florida Marlins after inadvertently rubbing chili juice in his eyes.

Unfortunately for Barberie, the former husband of Canadian-born TV personality Jillian Barberie, the gaffe represented one of his hottest streaks of the season.



7. Steve Sparks, Milwaukee Brewers
This injury falls under the "don't try this at home" category.

Sparks, a well-travelled knuckleballer, once attended a motivational speaking seminar hosted by the Brewers. The group ripped phone books in half and blew up hot water bottles.

Sparks was apparently fired up by the session, so much so that he tried to tear a phone book of his own. Bad idea.

The right-hander dislocated his shoulder while performing the stunt.



8. Kevin Mitchell, eight big league teams
Kevin Mitchell
Kevin Mitchell
Legend has it former slugger Kevin Mitchell suffered a couple of the strangest food-related injuries in baseball history.

On one occasion, Mitchell was placed on the disabled list after apparently straining rib muscles while vomiting. And, according to ESPN.com, Mitchell was four days late for 1990 spring training when he was hurt eating a microwaved donut.

Soon after eating the sweet delicacy, Mitchell – so the story goes – needed a root canal.



9. Marty Cordova, Baltimore Orioles
Marty Cordova
Marty Cordova
Some baseball players get naturally bronzed by spending many summer hours toiling under the blazing sun. Others choose to get their tan a different way.

A visit to a California tanning salon provided baseball with one of its more bizarre injuries.

Marty Cordova once burned his face under some tanning lamps, forcing him to miss a game. Under doctor's orders, the Orioles outfielder/designated hitter was told to stay out of direct sunlight.

That explanation must have gone over well in the locker room.



10. Jeff Kent, San Francisco Giants
Jeff Kent
Jeff Kent
All-star second baseman Jeff Kent may be a multi-millionaire, but he still prides himself on being a regular guy – the type of Joe Average who washes his own vehicle.

He might want to rethink that.

Kent made headlines a few years back for breaking a bone in his left wrist while cleaning his pickup truck at an Arizona self-serve car wash. The 2000 National League MVP said he slipped and hurt himself by trying to break his fall.

Reports later surfaced suggesting Kent may have injured his wrist while attempting motorcyle tricks in a parking lot – acts that would've violated his contract with the Giants. Kent denied ever pulling the Evel Knievel moves.





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