Injury Insanity: the Wildest Ways Baseball Players Have Gotten Hurt – 80s Edition

It’s always a bummer when a baseball player gets injured. They’re forced to sit out, sidelined, watching their teammates have all the fun. But whenever a player gets injured in a weird way, it’s always an interesting story. And so many players have gotten hurt in ways ranging from insane to simply hilarious.

Already this Spring Training, the New York Mets alone have been beset by a plethora of injuries, so let’s look at some of the craziest, funniest, wildest boo-boo’s in baseball history. You can look at the 2010s, 2000s, and 90s, and today, let’s go back to the 80s, when baseball players had injuries as wild as their mustaches!

Not the Year of Mike Parrott (1980)

The Mariners pitcher was supposed to have a great year at the start of the decade. He’d been their ace the year before, after being traded from Baltimore. He was the Opening Day starter, and picked up a win, despite giving up two home runs to John Mayberry.

Fast-forward to April 30th, and Parrott was on the receiving end of a line drive by Roy Smalley. The ball hit him squarely in the groin; he wasn’t wearing a cup.

The rest of Parrott’s season was a missed month on the DL, losing 16 straight decisions, a stint with Seattle’s Triple-A club, and a season ERA of 7.28 with American League batters hitting .348 off him. His losing streak was the longest of the decade.

Parrott fared slightly better the following season, going 3-6 with a 5.08 ERA in 85 innings of work. But after the Mariners traded him to the Brewers that winter, he never pitched in the Majors again.

George Brett goes toe up (1983)

On a rare day off, George Brett was home with a Cubs game on TV while he was doing laundry in the other room. When he heard that his good friend Bill Buckner was coming to the plate, he ran to see the at-bat and broke his toe on the door jam in the process. He’d miss 19 games, but at least he was supporting a fellow athlete, even if it was Buckner.

Nolan Ryan Has a Coyote Ugly Injury (1985)

It’s unclear what would possess one of the great pitchers of all time to reach into a pen full of coyotes, but he did just that in June of 1985. And unsurprisingly, if you reach into a pen full of coyotes, a coyote will probably bite you. Also not a surprise: Ryan was such a powerhouse that he continued to pitch, earning a win the following week, only allowed six hits and striking out five to propel the Astros to a 3-2 victory over the Padres.

Wade Boggs Cowboys Up (1986)

Long before “Cowboy Up, Boston” became the city’s slogan, one of its most beloved players attempted to put his best foot forward… and failed. Boggs strained his back while trying to put on his cowboy boots, and would miss about a week of ball as a result.

Greg Harris doesn’t practice safe sunflower (1987)

Long before Brock Holt began flicking sunflower seeds, the activity somehow harmed Rangers pitcher Harris, who managed to injure his elbow sending seeds soaring into the stands.

*Photo: Getty Images

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