Jesus Cruz is a pitcher for Class-A Peoria Chiefs, a minor league affiliate team of the St. Louis Cardinals. He pitched a heck of a game last night and struck out nine batters before leaving the game in the 5th inning with a 5-2 lead. Then, on his way to the dugout, things got weird.
A bird flew right at him. It tried to land in his hand and then fell to the ground. The 23-year-old pitcher from Mexico was worried the tiny bird was injured so he picked it up and put the bird in his hat. This appears to have allowed the bird to catch its breath or calm down because he then put the bird on his head and after that, the bird flew away to the ground.
Cruz spoke through an interpreter to Vincent Lara-Cinisomo of MiLB.com about the incident:
“I wasn’t scared at all,” Cruz said through interpreter and Chiefs infielder Yariel Gonzalez. “I just saw it and the bird landed in my hand and I just kept walking.”
“It was a just blessing,” Cruz, who is Catholic, said of the gesture. “It’s not very often something like that happens. I was just thanking God for everything and the bird in hand, too, and thanking him for a good game.”
“I was happy to see the bird flew away [because] I thought he was hurt,” Cruz said. “When the bird landed, I just picked him up because I like animals and I took advantage of that.” (via)
Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is the most exciting thing to happen in Peoria in the past two decades, isn’t it? When’s the last time you heard Peoria in the news?