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Athletes Who Suffered the Most Bizarre Off-Field Injuries

Updated June 13, 2020 94.9k views29 items

Athletes who suffered bizarre off-field injuries number in the dozens with stories of freak accidents, or pure stupidity, leading to missed playing time. Normally athletes are injured on the field, and get paid very well for that risk, but in these cases it was something completely unrelated to their respective sports that got them in trouble.

Some of these stories can be directly attributed to athletes making poor choices. Other freak accidents were just that, accidents and happened during normal everyday activities.

  • Photo: Chuck Andersen/Delaywaves / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

    Nolan Ryan was easily one of the best baseball players ever but that does not make him immune from freak injuries. In 1985, Ryan was bit after sticking his hand into a dog enclosure containing three coyotes.

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  • Glenn Healy, the goalie Toronto Maple Leafs, suffered a serious cut to his hand while cleaning bagpipes and required 10 stitches.

  • Photo: U.S.Air Force photo/Don Peek / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Notable MLB pitcher John Smoltz suffered a severe burn to his chest, though exactly how it happened is unclear. Legend has it that he was running late and opted to iron his shirt on his body, burning himself in the process. Smoltz later denied the story and said he actually injured himself while trying to use a steamer. 

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  • San Diego Padres pitcher Adam Eaton had a strange encounter with the cellophane wrapping on a DVD back in 2001. Unfortunately for Eaton, he stabbed himself in the stomach with a paring knife in the process.

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