Sunday, April 15, 2012

A bird dies in Miami, and a legend is born

In the young days of our fine nation, we had no icons. Thus, George Washington and the Cherry Tree story (which is patently false) was born.

So it is with the Rally Bird:

In the top of the eighth inning, with the bases loaded for the Astros and Miami reliever Mike Dunn struggling mightily to keep the game from getting away, a bird of unknown species, but most likely a pigeon, fluttered its last beneath the stadium's retractable roof and plummeted to its death in right field.

Center fielder Emilio Bonifacio saw it dive. Right fielder Giancarlo Stanton motioned for someone to remove the animal between pitches. Two stadium workers, with shovel in hand and no particular sense of ceremony, scooped up the bird and scooted off.

And that, friends, begins the legend of the Rally Bird, the most poignant and mysterious story ever told in the four-game history of this ballpark.

Tongue in cheek? Absolutely. Fitting for that thing in the outfield? Absolutely.

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