Baseball season is in full swing. With flying baseballs, wooden bats, passionate players and fiery fans, it’s no surprise that it’s a game jam-packed with breaks. From broken windshields to broken hearts, here are some of the biggest breaks in baseball history.
The Grand Slam that Became a Smash Hit
Parking your vehicle near a ballpark always involves a certain amount of risk. But when it comes to wayward baseballs hitting cars, this story is one in a million.
Gateway Grizzlies player Brandon Thomas hit a grand slam—the mother of all baseball accomplishments—during a game in August 2016. The ball sailed out of the park and ultimately smashed the windshield of a truck. Turns out, the unlucky ride was actually Thomas’ Toyota Tundra.
That’s right...his big hit broke his own big truck!
But all is fair in love and baseball, and Thomas didn’t let a broken windshield shatter his spirits. “Definitely worth it!!” he tweeted after.
If you’re thinking that the odds of this occurring seem awfully slim, you’re not alone. “I didn’t really realize it at the time,” adds Thomas. “But the chances of something like this happening in that situation it [sic] it can’t be too high.”
Now that’s what we call swinging for the fences.
Turning a Bad Break into a Breakthrough
On deck is an entirely different (and certainly more painful) kind of break.
While America’s pastime isn’t a contact sport, sometimes baseballs aren’t the only thing that gets hit. In 2011, Scott Cousins of the Miami Marlins was heading for home plate at full bore when he collided with catcher Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants. Posey suffered a brutal break—specifically, a fractured fibula. As a result of this potentially career ending injury, he was out for the rest of the season.
Luckily, Posey recovered and returned the next year, even earning the National League MVP title. But what he didn’t know was his injury would end up changing the game forever.
In 2014, Rule 7.13, nicknamed “The Posey Rule” was enacted, which made it illegal for a runner to veer off course from the plate and purposely initiate contact with the catcher, or for a catcher to block the plate without being in possession of the ball.
How’s that for making an impact?
A Baseball Break Up?
Depending on how high up your seats are at a stadium, you may be watching the jumbotron more than the game itself. Between innings there might be trivia questions, kiss cams and messages from fans that appear on the big screen. But this next example comes straight out of left field.
The Oakland Coliseum allows fans to tweet about the game using the hashtag, #AtTheColiseum for a chance to get their message on the jumbotron. The featured tweets are a lot of the usual suspects—birthday and anniversary shout-outs, and lots of “go team!” exclamations.
So it shocked everyone when the screen suddenly read:
“Melissa, I’m breaking up with you #AtTheColiseum.”
The crowd responded with a collective groan at the embarrassingly public parting. Was this the biggest...or at least most humiliating breakup in baseball ever?
Turns out, this tale comes with a curveball. Upon further investigation, it so happens the Tweet was written by a cheeky young man named Matt Zimmerman...as a joke. And the “Melissa” in question? Well, she turned out to be totally fictional.
Whew. Like an exhausted pitcher in the ninth inning, we’re relieved.
Building Dreams Out of Broken Bats
Not all breaks in baseball are accidents. In fact, certain people have made names for themselves by cracking bats in half on purpose. Guinness World Records for broken bats include: “Most baseball bats broken with shins in one minute” (65—by Kerim Duygu of Gemany), “Most baseball bats broken with hands in one minute” (55—Muhamed Kahrimanovic, Germany), and “Most baseball bats broken with the back in one minute” (16—Tomi Lotta, Finland). That’s one way to catch your big break.
When it comes to breaks in baseball, these tales are diamonds in the rough. And while breaks are a subject we know a thing or two about, we’re still amazed by how many cracks, smashes and fractures you can pack into nine innings.