Today is John Smoltz’s 46th birthday. Smoltz is often noted as one of the most underrated pitchers of the last 30 years, if not all time. He was an 8-time all-star, won the 1996 Cy Young Award and is one of only two players in the history of pro baseball to record a 20-win season and record 55 saves in a season (Dennis Eckersley being the other). Unfortunately, around here, he is best known for the myth that he once missed a start because he injured himself trying to iron a shirt that he was wearing. This ridiculously awesome story got me to thinking about some of my personal favorite sports urban myths.
Before we get to the other myth’s lets talk about Smoltz “allegedly” ironing a shirt with it on. If you’ve ever been short on time, out of Febreze, and the shirt you were wearing looked like a California raisin don’t tell me that you haven’t considered turning on that iron and gently seeing if you could get some of those wrinkles out. The mental picture I have of John Smoltz attempting this is just as good as his career was.
As a quick side note, with being injured in a non-conventional way top of mind here are a few of my favorite bizarre injuries that actually happened to professional athletes.
- Marty Cordova (Oriole’s outfielder) once severely burnt himself after falling asleep in a tanning bed. Apparently, tanning bed injuries aren’t just for bored, drunken housewives anymore.
- Jeff Kent (Giants 2nd basemen & world-class doocher ) slipped, fell and broke his wrist while washing his truck. I like to think he slipped while putting a third coat of wax on his truck nuts.
- Joel Zumaya (Tigers Pitcher) was diagnosed with wrist tendinitis due to an addiction to the video game Guitar Hero. Totally understandable. After a bad rash of carpal tunnel injuries, the Bacon Sports team had to implement a strict “wrist-brace while masturbating” policy.
Wade Boggs “allegedly” once drank 64 beers on a cross-country flight. Like most urban legends, this one has no doubt grown over the years. Boggs probably drank twenty-four beers, which turned into forty-eight, and finally settled at sixty-four beers. I’ve known some heavy boozers in my days and, to me, this seems physically impossible. At most, the flight was 5 hours. If he truly drank sixty-four beers, that puts Boggs’ consumption rate at nearly thirteen beers an hour. That’s incredible, even for a pudgy, left-handed 3rd baseman that hit for average. Here’s Boggs addressing this rumor on PTI.
Micheal Jordan was politely asked by NBA Commissioner David Stern to play baseball for a year due to a severe gambling problem that could have tarnished Stern’s efforts to improve the NBA’s reputation. There is no evidence to the validity of this rumor, but it’s not hard to see Bulls/White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf going along with ploy. He stood to make millions off Jordan’s move to baseball with ticket and jersey sales for a floundering White Sox brand. The move itself is amazing, regardless of reason. Jordan moving to baseball in his prime would be like LeBron going to the Marlins to play center field. Although, knowing Marlin’s owner Jefferey Loria, he would probably trade LeBron right before the deadline to the Indians for a journeymen relief pitcher and a half-eaten Twix bar.
Patrick Ewing has been at the heart of one of the most egregious sports rumors since he was drafted in 1985. The story goes as a such: David Stern wanted Patrick Ewing playing for the NBA’s biggest market in New York, not mired in obscurity playing for the Clippers. So, he froze the Knicks envelope so that when he reached into the bucket to find the team that would pick first, he would know which envelope was the Knicks. As planned, he pulled the Knicks for the first pick, they got Ewing and the rest is history. By the way, how many titles did the Knicks win with Ewing? That’s right, zilch. I 100% believe this happened.
Add this to your conspiracy theory list, courtesy of Bacon Sports. I think, as his penitence for the Jordan suspension, David Stern is going to rig the 2014 NBA draft to give the lowly Charlotte Bobcats the first pick in the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes. Mark my word, its gonna happen. Stern is a shrewd man that will go to any lengths to better his product and when it comes to fruition, remember that you heard it here first.
Drew is a new addition to the Bacon Sports team. This native Kentuckian loves his Wildcats and is the world-record holder for the most nickels eaten in an hour. Follow him on twitter at @DrewtheEmployee
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