This Day in Failure: May 20

2008: The Calgary Vipers of the Golden Baseball League trade right-handed pitcher John Odom, 26, to the Laredo (Texas) Broncos of the United League for 10 baseball bats—more specifically, “10 Prairie Sticks Maple Bats, double-dipped black, 34-inch, C243 style”—valued at $69 each. “They just wanted some bats, good bats—maple bats,” Broncos general manager Jose Melendez says when asked about the unusual trade. Odom dies six months later, his death attributed to an accidental overdose of heroin, methamphetamine, the stimulant benzylpiperazine and alcohol.

2000: More than 100 people are injured when a concrete pedestrian bridge buckles after a NASCAR race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina.

1998: A faulty telecommunications satellite causes millions of pager customers to temporarily lose service.

1965: A Pakistan Airways Boeing 707 arriving from Pakistan crashes while attempting a night landing at the airport in Cairo, Egypt. The pilot takes an approach that is too steep, and slams into the ground short of the runway. The accident claims the lives of 124 people.

1899: Taxicab operator Jacob German becomes the first driver arrested for speeding when he is stopped for driving 12 mph on Lexington Avenue in New York.