April 24, 2003


THEY FIGHT! THEY FIGHT! THEY FIGHT THEY FIGHT THEY FIGHT!: ESPN.com has a top ten list up today of the best baseball brawls of all time. The 1965 John Roseboro-Juan Marichal fight takes #1 and while it's certainly deserving, the list altogether omits my all-time favorite fight in non-wrestling sports history: August 4, 1993, when Robin Ventura butted heads with Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan.

In the bottom of the fifth inning of a game at Texas' old Arlington Stadium, then-White Sox third baseman Ventura was plunked with a 90-plus mile-per-hour fastball from baseball's all-time leader in both strikeouts and no-hitters, and decided to charge the mound- despite the fact that Ryan was then 46 years old and in his 25th major league season. It could've been really ugly, but as soon as Ventura reached the mound Ryan grabbed him in a headlock and proceded to give him a noogie; eventually, once both benches emptied, order was restored; it took nearly a decade and multiple postseason heroics for Ventura to finally live it down that he'd gotten his ass kicked by a 46-year-old man.
And I know it was in the minors, but ESPN also neglects to include the oft-repeated clip of former Red Sox farmhand Izzy Alcantara taking on all comers Terminator-like.

Posted by Stephen Silver at April 24, 2003 03:25 PM
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