Before his arrest last night, Dave Winfield drove in two runs to enable New York to beat the Blue Jays, 3-1.
It was the Yankees' only victory in the four-game series in Toronto.
Had Toronto police arrested Winfield before the game, they would have spared the Blue Jays his RBI single in the first inning, his RBI double in the third, and the run he subsequently scored.
Winfield's problem came just before the home fifth. When he finished warming up in center field, he threw the ball toward a bat boy. The ball hit a gull on the head and killed it.
When the bat boy carried the bird from the field, many fans booed Winfield and some threw rubber balls at him. One TV viewer called police to lodge a complaint. A policeman at the game also saw the incident.
Winfield was taken to a police station after the game and charged with cruelty to animals, which carries a maximum $500 fine. He posted $500 bond, was released on his own recognizance and ordered to appear in court Aug. 12. The Yankees are to play in Detroit that night.
"All I can tell you is that Canada's national bird, or fowl, or something, is no longer with us," Winfield said.
"They say he hit the gull on purpose," Manager Billy Martin of the Yankees said. "They wouldn't say that if they'd seen the throws he'd been making all year. It's the first time he's hit the cutoff man."
The sea gull isn't Canada's national bird but is on its protected list.