When Winged Animals Attack

“Offseasoning” is a bi-weekly MiLB.com that chronicles (surprise!) what players are up to during the offseason. The first edition of ’11-’12 ran today, on the clothing company being launched by White Sox prospects Daniel Wagner and Kyle Colligan.

But this isn’t the first time that the name Daniel Wagner has appeared on this blog. When I visited the Winston-Salem Dash this past July, I took the following photo of Wagner’s scoreboard mugshot:

Yes, this aspiring clothing magnate was attacked by a bat and somehow lived to tell the tale. During our interview yesterday I couldn’t resist asking about this incident, and what follows is a Ben’s Biz Blog exclusive:

Daniel Wagner dishing on his harrowing on-field encounter with an out-of-control winged rodent!

Said Wagner:

I remember it like it was yesterday. We were in Kannapolis; I was playing second base and Sally [Tyler Saladino] was at shortstop. There were all these bats swooping down and flying around, and I looked over at Sally, like “Do you see these bats? They’re getting really close!”

The scene of the attack: Fieldcrest Stadium in Kannapolis, N.C.

Two or three pitches later, two bats landed on the second base side of the pitcher’s mound. I said to Sally, “Dude, they’re right there!” He was just laughing. So then Ryan Buch threw a pitch, and as soon as it popped in the catcher’s mitt both bats take off and start flying right at me. I thought one of them was going to hit me in the face, but I dodged it. I forget who the runner on second base was, but I turned to him and asked “Did you see that?”

He just said “Bro, there’s one on your leg!”

The perpetrator?

And it was! It was clamped on my leg, so I swiped it off with my glove and it ended up on the ground opening and closing its mouth at me. I could see the fangs. It was super-creepy, worse than a spider or a rat, just nasty. I took off running, and that’s when I think the fans noticed what was happening. A lot of them were laughing, and from then on sometimes people would call me ‘Batman.’ It was just wild. 

I think I do have a [bat] phobia now, those things creep me out. Of all the strange things that I’ve seen happen on a baseball field, having a bat land on me was obviously number one.

For the record, a fear of bats is officially known as “chiroptophobia.” That would be a mighty strange reason to have to go on the disabled list, but fortunately Wagner has been able to persevere. I thank him for sharing his story, and an additional head nod goes in the direction of the Winston-Salem Dash’s preternaturally on-point team Twitter account for reminding me to ask him about it in the first place.

I would love to be able to provide additional animal attack tales from the Minor League trenches, as well as strange stories in general. If you’ve got something to share, well, you know where to find me.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

3 Comments

Kyle Colligan is an Aggie! We always had a fun time in the stands when he came up to the plate. Good to hear about him.

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