Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, What’s The Baddest Baseball Brawl Of All? [VIDEO]


Harold Hutchison Freelance Writer
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Bench-clearing brawls are relatively rare in baseball, but watching the recent brawl between the Texas Rangers and the Toronto Blue Jays get coverage on various networks certainly has reminded people that occasionally massive fights do happen.

Here are some other standout brawls for the ages:

1965 — Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants

The Giants-Dodgers rivalry on the West Coast has had its nasty moments. But one of the nastiest had to be when Giants pitcher Juan Marichal attacked Dodgers catcher Johnny Roseboro with a bat after Roseboro threw close to Marichal’s head in retaliation for Marichal having thrown a pitch at legendary Dodgers leadoff hitter Maury Wills. Marichal hit Roseboro twice on the head, causing a cut, and leading to a 14-minute fight. Marichal got an eight-game suspension and was also effectively suspended for the last two games of the 1965 season — which ended with the Dodgers reaching the World Series. Marichal also received a then-record fine of $1,750.

1993 — Texas Rangers and Chicago White Sox

By 1993, Nolan Ryan was in the sunset of his legendary baseball career. But he still was able to hold his own when Chicago White Sox third baseman Robin Ventura charged the mound after being hit by a pitch. Ryan famously put Ventura in a headlock, clearly getting the better of the rising star.

1990 — Milwaukee Brewers and Seattle Mariners

The 1990 Brewers had a hot start, fueled by a new attitude emerging from then-hitting coach Don Baylor and veteran designated hitter Dave Parker. That 1990 season’s hot start faded, but the Brewers were fighters that season, being involved in at least three bench-clearing brawls. The most memorable was when the Brewers’ Bob Sebra plunked Tracy Jones. That fight took almost a half-hour to break up, and lead to nine suspensions, including Brewers manager Tom Trebelhorn. That game was Sebra’s last in the majors. The Brewers demoted him to the minors and released him after the season.

1984 — San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves

The San Diego Padres were on their way to the 1984 NL pennant, but the road wasn’t always nice. In fact, one game with the Atlanta Braves started ugly (Padres leadoff hitter Alan Wiggins was hit by the first pitch of the game). The cycle of brushback pitches and retaliation escalated from there, despite a warning by the umpires to both teams, and a series of brawls broke out. notes that the Padres had their manager and two acting managers ejected, while 12 players from both teams and Braves manager Joe Torre were also tossed. Hockey has nothing on this game in terms of brawls!

1987 — Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres

While the 1987 Chicago Cubs were headed for the basement, free-agent acquisition Andrew Dawson, a future Hall of Fame player, was a huge bright spot, winning the National League MVP — and the home run title — by smashing 49 home runs. On July 7 of that year, Dawson was already showing why he was a good pick-up for the Cubs by hitting a home run in the first inning to put them up 2-1. On his next appearance, Padres pitcher Eric Show hit Dawson in the face with a pitch. Dawson charged the mound and the brawl was on. Dawson and Cubs ace Rick Sutcliffe were ejected. Show only got a warning, but left the game because of an injury he sustained during the brawl.

As a side note, future Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux was tossed the next inning for hitting Benito Santiago. Cubs manager Gene Michael was also ejected, as were Cubs pitcher Scot Sanderson and Cubs acting manager Johnny Oates after Sanderson threw a pitch behind Padres third baseman Chris Brown.

2003 — New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox and the Yankees are mortal rivals (even though some might view choosing between them to be making a choice between Darth Vader and Khan Noonian Singh). In the 2003 ALCS, the rivalry took an ugly turn. Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez hit Yankees outfielder Karin Garcia with a pitch. The benches emptied, but calm was restored. Until, that is, a fastball went high and inside to Manny Ramirez. This time, a brawl broke out despite the fact Ramirez hadn’t been hit by the pitch. During that brawl Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer (who was once nicknamed the “designated gerbil”), was pushed to the ground by Martinez.

So, this is a selection of some notorious bench-clearing brawls. Which bench-clearing brawls in major-league baseball do readers remember?