He picked up the win. And some bird excrement in the process.
We’re not joking.
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Hunter was in the bullpen, about to enter in the 16th inning, when one of many seagulls at Safeco Field, deposited some droppings on Hunter’s hat.
“I was minding my own business, not doing anything. I thought it was [reliever Luis] Ayala throwing stuff at me. You know, he usually does. So I didn’t know what it was,” Hunter said. “I just thought someone threw a piece of gum and hit me. It wasn’t a piece of gum, man. Everybody just started dying laughing. Then everybody said it was good luck. Then we won.”
It was good luck for reporters because Hunter is one of the best quotes in the Orioles’ clubhouse.
“I was getting ready to go warm up and it went [plop] and I looked at it and everyone started laughing. I had bird [droppings] on my head.”
He pitched with his hat soiled. And he wasn’t happy.
“It’s my favorite hat,” he said. “It sucks. It’s terrible.”
He said he couldn’t ask for a teammate’s cap because his head is too big.
“I have 7 5/8’s. I got a huge dome. A large landing zone, I guess,” he said. “I don’t know. That was wild. I’ve never been [dropped] on before.”
Then he paused. OK, Hunter said, maybe figuratively, but not literally.
At one point in between innings, pitching coach Rick Adair took the hat over to Buck Showalter to show him what had happened.
“Tommy just wanted you to see this,” Showalter said Adair told him. “I said, ‘I know how he feels.’ It broke up the whole dugout. Everybody was laughing about it. You’ve got to take it that way.”