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MLB pitcher accidentally hits and kills bird with throw in pregame warm-ups

MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 16: Zac Gallen #23 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a pitch against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at loanDepot park on April 16, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

(CNN) — For the second (well-publicized) time in MLB history, an Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher has claimed a sad and unusual feat – accidentally taking out and killing a bird with a throw.

D-backs pitcher Zac Gallen was throwing a side session in the outfield ahead of Arizona’s game against the Oakland Athletics in California on Wednesday and managed to inadvertently hit a passing bird with a throw.

Unfortunately, the bird reportedly did not survive the encounter, which saw it being hit by a Gallen curveball.

The incident was caught on camera, with commentators declaring that “Gallen took some time to recognize that” the bird had died.

This comes some 20 years after another infamous avian casualty by throw episode, which saw then Diamondbacks pitcher Randy Johnson take out a bird in a flurry of feathers back in 2001.

Johnson, who was known for his 100+ mph fastballs, was throwing a pitch in the seventh inning of a spring training game when a bird flew by at just the right moment and was hit by the ball, with an explosion of feathers heralding the bird’s unfortunate demise.

It stands to be seen if this year’s incident is a bad omen – Johnson’s Diamondbacks team then went on to win the World Series in a tight seven-game series against the New York Yankees – but Arizona went on to win on Wednesday 5-3 thanks to a ninth-inning rally to send them to 25-19 on the season.