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Randy Johnson vaporizing a bird, as explained by bird nerds

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We've seen the video. Now read what ornithologists think about it.

Sixteen years ago, in an otherwise unremarkable spring training game, Randy Johnson sent a dove to the great seed bell in the sky. It was one of the first viral pre-YouTube videos, something you would spend an hour downloading over a 56k modem:

So horrible. So fantastic. So unlikely.

In honor of the occasion, the good folks at Newsweek hit up some ornithologists to talk about Johnson's fastball and the ex-dove. These ornithologists aren't quite as entertained.

Do you feel bad for the bird?

Streby: A little. At least it went quickly. I feel worse thinking it was probably a breeding bird that time of year, with a nest of eggs or hungry nestlings somewhere nearby.

Aw, man.

Do you feel bad for the bird?

Michael Wunder, associate professor at the University of Colorado, Denver: I didn’t feel bad for the bird. I’m an ornithologist who studies population demographics, which just means I am interested to know when where and how birds die.


It's the 16th anniversary of Calvin Murray's at-bat being interrupted by a very rude, very dead bird! React accordingly.