According to The Hockey News, NHL Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell will not suspend Florida Panthers Keith Ballard for his samurai head slash on own goalie Tomas Vokoun. Campbell noted that the highlights of the hit and everything that goes with it is punishment enough.
Ballard will probably never live this down and most certainly be the punch-line to a handful of NHL jokes over the next few weeks, but he’s not the only player to ever injure a teammate or be hurt by outside forces. The following injuries are just as unique as Ballard’s hit on Vokoun.
Vince Coleman OF Cardinals - Before a 1985 playoff game vs. the L.A. Dodgers, Vince Coleman was swallowed up and injured by a tarp machine. The aluminum casing injured Coleman's ankle, thigh, and knee and ended the rest of his postseason. The Cards then auctioned off the tarp machine for the small price of a World Series Championship. Doh.
Milton Bradley, OF Padres – After being called out on strikes in the 5th inning, Bradley got into a heated argument with first-base umpire Mike Winters when he reached base in the 8th. Bradley’s coach Bud Black sprinted out to first base to yank Bradley away from the ump. Black twisted Bradley awkwardly tearing his ACL and ending Bradley’s 2007 season.
Joe Paterno, Coach Penn State – During the 2006 Penn State vs. Wisconsin game, freshman Tight End Andrew Quarless caught a pass near the sideline and rolled up on Paterno’s leg. Paterno would be carted off and eventually diagnosed with a fractured leg. JoePa turns 83 on December 21st and still coaches Penn State, reminding us just how durable he is.
Sammy Sosa, Cubs OF – Prior to a 2004 game vs. the Padres, Sosa sneezed not once, but twice sending his back into spasms. He needed the assistance of a chair to support himself and missed the game versus the Pads.
Clint Barmes, SS Rockies – During his 2005 rookie season Barmes broke his collarbone carrying deer meat given to him by Todd Helton. “I just didn’t think it was right to bring Todd into something like this,” Barmes said in relation to the first reported “carrying groceries” accident.