Mar 13, 2015 8:17 PM

Foul ball kills bird in first inning of Tigers-Braves game

The Associated Press

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) A bird was struck and killed by a foul ball while perched atop the protective netting behind home plate during the first inning of the Tigers-Braves game on Friday.

Detroit catcher James McCann hit a pitch from Atlanta starter Mike Foltynewicz toward the right side of the screen. The sharp liner made direct contact with the bird, sending it crashing to the first row of seats in a burst of feathers. Fans first reacted with "oohs," and then a smattering of laughter.

Play was not interrupted, and McCann said he didn't find out about the unfortunate incident until he singled and was told by umpire Joe West at first base.

Foltynewicz noticed "something happened" in the stands but at first did not know it was a bird. He said the timing of the accident was especially unusual because he recently was talking about the spring training game in 2001 when Hall of Famer Randy Johnson killed a bird with a pitch while with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In 1983, Yankees outfielder Dave Winfield killed a seagull in Toronto with a warmup throw. Police charged him with animal cruelty, although the charge was later dropped.


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