According to a report from Japan’s Yomiuri Giants, former Kansas City Royals pitcher Brian Bannister has responded to last month’s earthquake and tsunami by quitting his job, fleeing the country and quitting professional baseball forever. Apparently he left the country on March 16, and the team is just getting around to finding out about it now.
Bannister is ditching a one-year deal worth $1.8 million signed in January, which means (assuming he didn’t go to Japan until he signed that deal) he stuck it out for almost two months before he got the Fear of God put into him and threw in the towel. The guy is only 30 years old and isn’t especially worse than some of the lower-level starting pitchers still hanging around in the Majors, but he explicitly told Japanese baseball officials he “has no plans to play in either Japan or the United States.” He then added, “SUPER RUNAWAY” and ran off with his arms flailing in the air.
Brian Bannister spent five years in the Major Leagues, and will always be remembered for temporarily playing baseball.