The MLB has seen it’s share of bizarre and unusual injuries throughout the years. Texas Rangers pitcher Austin Bibens-Dirkx suffered likely the strangest injury of 2017.
According to T.R. Sullivan, Texas Rangers pitcher Austin Bibens-Dirkx injured himself while signing autographs in 2017. The 32-year-old righty broke his hand along the first-base stand before a game in July.
Bibens-Dirkx was reportedly signing autographs when he slipped on a metal grating and caught himself. He banged his right hand on the railing, but didn’t think too much about it. He just thought it was bruised and continued to pitch.
After about one month Bibens-Dirkx had his hand re-examined. He learned that two broken bones were found in the heel of his right hand. What is even more surprising is, Bibens-Dirkx pitched through the end of the season.
They decided to not operate on Bibens-Dirkx hand after the recommendation of a hand specialist. Instead, they chose to let the hand heal on its own and give Bibens-Dirkx a cortisone injection. He’s elected to not play winter ball, but will be back with the Rangers next season.
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The Rangers brought back Bibens-Dirkx on a Minor League contract. Last season he went 5-2 with a 4.67 ERA in 24 games (six starts) with the Rangers. The 2017 season was Bibens-Dirkx first year in the MLB.
The soft-tossing righty was a reliable swingman in the Rangers bullpen/rotation. He’s been pitching in the minor leagues since 2006. Texas finally gave him the opportunity he’s been working towards for years.
It was a truly inspiring story, and Rangers fans are glad to see him glad in 2018. His role on the organization has not been decided, but he will be on the roster this spring.