June 16, 2021

Boar’d to Death: When Baseball and the Wild Boar Cross Paths (FanGraphs)

Early in the 2019 season, Yoenis Céspedes suffered a mysterious injury on his ranch. Described as a “violent fall,” there had been some discrepancy in exactly how the Mets outfielder suffered a fractured ankle (this while still rehabbing from surgery on both heels). According to fresh reports on the matter in the New York Post, he broke his ankle by stepping in a hole while trying to “sidestep a boar.” The story was confirmed by the Mets, as well as officials from MLB and MLBPA.

There have been many questions in response to this information, such as “Why?” and “How?” and “Again, I ask you… why?” But these put the wrong information in focus. Instead, we must look at the historical context of Céspedes’ misstep, and attempt to understand that the paths of men and boars do not easily cross; and yet, even in this niche of the natural world, baseball has a legacy.

We may not know what draws typical ballpark wildlife, the lost squirrels and panicking cats, to our infields and outfields. But we do know that their slashing claws and snapping mandibles have been on display in the realm of big league baseball for generations. With nature’s fury finding its…

Read “Boar’d to Death: When Baseball and the Wild Boar Cross Paths” at FanGraphs