August 4, 1983

On this day in in 1983 at Toronto during a game between the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankee outfielder Dave Winfield threw a baseball during warm-ups and accidentally killed a seagull. After the game, a Toronto police officer Wayne Hartery, who was attending the game, arrested him for “causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.” Mr. Hartery claimed then and still does to this day that Winfield intentional threw the ball over 150 feet and with superhuman accuracy struck that bird and killed it. Winfield claims he was throwing the ball back to the ball-boy and it accidently struck and killed the bird, who was an unpaid spectator looking for a free meal. When Manager Billy Martin was questioned about the arrest, Martin said, “Cruelty to animals? That’s the first time he hit the cut-off man all year.” The charges were dropped and the undocumented conversation between Officer Hartery and the Chief of Police of Toronto probably included the following phrases, “Dammit Hartery, I’m too old for this shit,” and “If I hear ‘Yippie Ki Yay, mere baise’ one more time, you’re fired.”

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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