Baseball and boxing fans united this past week when Texas Rangers infielder Rougned Odor did his best Sugar Ray Leonard imitation and delivered a picture-perfect right hook to the face of Toronto Blue Jays All-Star Jose Bautista. It didn’t take long for the video, as well as the still images of Bautista’s sunglasses and helmet flying in the air, to go viral.
But where does the scuffle rank all-time? Let’s take a look at the top five most entertaining Major League Baseball fights caught on film.
- Bye, George
Kansas City Royals third baseman George Brett’s potential game-winning home run was ruled an out after New York Yankees manager Billy Martin protested, saying Brett used an illegal amount of pine tar on his bat. The scuffle didn’t amount to much, but the footage of an enraged Brett storming out of the dugout to confront the umpire will remain in baseball lore. Brett was ejected from the 1983 game and didn’t attend the resumed portion of the contest, which the Royals won 5-4 almost a month later.
- Trouble at home
Likely to no one’s surprise Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski was right in the middle of this 2006 brawl that was one of the biggest of all-time. Pierzynski ran over Chicago Cubs catcher Michael Barrett in his attempt to touch home plate, which led to punches and the clearing of the benches.
- A brawl in the Bronx
Apparently frustrated by giving up a home run to Bernie Williams, Baltimore Orioles pitcher Armando Benitez deliver a fastball right in the back of New York Yankees batter Tino Martinez. The scene in 1998 erupted into absolute chaos, which included punches, body slams and a large scrum in the dugout.
- Jose, can you not see the punch coming?
The Texas Rangers avenged Jose Bautista’s bat flip from last year’s playoffs when Rougned Odor slugged the Toronto Blue Jays outfielder right in the face. The tight camera shot and clean punch to the face, as well as many fans’ hatred toward Bautista, will make this one of the most remembered fights in MLB history.
- . Respect your elders
While the 1993 fight was pretty one-sided, the footage of veteran Texas Rangers pitcher Nolan Ryan wrangling a young Robin Ventura like a calf before placing him in a headlock and punching him several times in the face will live on forever. Ryan, who was one of the most intimidating pitchers of all-time, wasn’t challenged often, and this video shows why. Plus, watching the current Chicago White Sox manager wipe his fat lip remains priceless. After the original scuffle between Ryan and Ventura, Texas coach Mickey Hatcher received a gash above the eye, and Chicago’s Bo Jackson even got into the mix.
Mark Schremmer has been a sports reporter since 2000 and has covered games at the professional, college and high school levels for the Topeka Capital-Journal and The Joplin Globe.
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