I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s some sort of schadenfreude type of deal, that makes it so much fun to discuss and categorize injuries. We’ve broken down some of the most ill-timed sports injuries, talked about pitchers who have been hurt batting, and we’ve shared stories of some of the weirdest injuries in sports. And now, because of Angels first baseman Kendry Morales who broke his leg during a celebration following a walkoff grand slam to beat the Mariners, we have a list of athletes hurt while celebrating in sports. Let us know if we missed anything.
The Angels had just beaten the Mariners 5-1 thanks to Morales’ walkoff grand slam to center field. After rounding the bases, Morales headed for home and leaped to the plate. Somehow he managed to fracture his leg and he may be out for the season. He was leading the Angels in batting average, home runs, and RBIs at the time of his injury.
The mother of all idiotic celebrations to cause injuries, Gramatica tore his ACL jumping for joy after making a 42-yard field goal for the Cardinals against the Giants. The torn ACL knocked Gramatica out for the rest of his rookie season. Bill was never the same after injury, going from making 16 of 20 field goals his rookie year to being out of the NFL three years later.
Vonn had won the downhills at the World Skiing Championships in 2009 and cracked open a bottle of bubbly to celebrate. The problem was someone decided to use a ski to get the cork out and wound up breaking the bottle. Vonn cut her thumb while grabbing the bottle and had to get surgery to repair a tendon. She wound up missing the giant slalom as a result.
The Buckeyes were the favorite to beat Florida in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game and were off to a great start when Ted Ginn Jr. returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Problem is his teammate, Roy Hall, slid into his foot in the endzone during the celebration, and it took Ginn out of the game. The Gators went on to win it 41-14, the first of two titles for Urban Meyer and Tim Tebow.
The Padres won the NL West in 2005 by five games over the Diamondbacks. The team beat the Giants 9-1 on September 28th, clinching the division. Ace pitcher Jake Peavy felt a pain in his side as the team hugged in celebration of the playoff berth. Peavy rested until the postseason and then got lit up in Game 1 of the NLDS by the Cardinals, allowing eight runs in four and a third innings. It wasn’t until after the disaster that Peavy had an MRI which revealed his broken rib. He was lost for the postseason but it didn’t matter because the Padres wound up being swept.
To quote Denny, “I’m not good at celebrating. I like the whole celebration concept. I just haven’t perfected it.” Hocking hit a walkoff home run to beat the Angels in September of 2001 and his teammates pounded him on the head to celebrate. The bill came down and hit him in the face, breaking his nose. Then in 2002, Hocking wound up with his throwing hand stepped on in the celebration pile after the Twins won the ALDS against the A’s. Hocking wound up missing the entire ALCS because of his hand injury and the Twins lost to the Angels.
One of Frerotte’s best seasons as an NFL quarterback came in 1997 when he led the Redskins to a 6-6-1 record during his starts. The tie came late in the season against the Giants and Frerotte celebrating Washington’s lone touchdown by infamously ramming his head into a padded cement wall. He wound up spraining his neck and leaving the stadium for the hospital as a result.
This isn’t so much about KJ as it is about Charles Barkley. After nailing a game-winning shot to beat the Blazers 115-114 in the third to last game of the regular season, Barkley jumped on teammate Kevin Johnson to celebrate. Problem is Barkley outweighed KJ by about 70 pounds and wound up injuring Johnson’s knee. KJ missed the final two games of the regular season and the playoff opener against the Lakers (a game they lost).
The Cubs pitcher wanted to get out onto the field to celebrate a July win over the Brewers when his foot got caught on the railing. Dempster thought he could just tough out the minor injury but it was still nagging him when he tried to pitch. X-rays revealed a broken right big toe and Dempster had to go on the disabled list.
Ichiro Suzuki had just hit an improbable walkoff home run off Mariano Rivera, his second straight game-ending hit. Mariners catcher Rob Johnson was so excited during the celebration that while jumping up he landed in the hole where hitters dig into in the batters box and wound up twisting his ankle.
Dustan Mohr, an outfielder for the Rockies, strained his calf jumping up to celebrate a Clint Barmes walkoff home run and had to go on the DL.
DeAngelo Hall, already not playing because of a knee injury, gave himself back spasms jumping up and down on the sidelines cheering on his Redskins.
Agony Of Ecstasy [SI Vault]