10 Most Surprising Mound-Charging Moments Ever
Typically baseball fights are not really all that memorable.
Although it is exciting when the benches clear out onto the field, rarely do they ever result in any real fighting taking place.
A little pushing and shoving tends to occur, but then the mass of players standing around usually breaks up any small pockets of tension, the umpires issue warnings, and both teams move on.
There are times, though, when emotions boil over and the field turns into a stage for massive free-for-all.
Here are a few of the more shocking fight moments in Major League history.
Honorable Mention: Juan Marichal vs. John Roseboro, August 22, 1965
This wasn't a mound charging, thus the honorable mention, but it was certainly one of the most shocking moments in Major League Baseball history in terms of brawls.
On August 22, 1965, a nasty incident occurred between Giants pitcher Juan Marichal and Dodgers catcher John Roseboro.
Roseboro, retaliating for knock down pitches thrown by Marichal to Maury Wills and Ron Fairly, would throw a pair of toss-back pitches to Sandy Koufax on the mound.
The problem is that Roseboro intentionally threw the returns with the intent to knock down Marichal.
The first went by Marchical's nose, the second past his ear.
The reaction? Marichal clubbed Roseboro over the head with his bat, necessitating 14 stitches to close the two-inch gash in the catcher's head.
The benches cleared in a 14-minute brawl.
Marichal was suspended eight games and fined $1,750 for his actions.
This story has a happy ending though, Marichal and Roseboro became friends years later. Roseboro even visited Marichal in the Dominican after both had retired.
Honorable Mention: A-Rod and Jason Varitek Fight in 2004
This is also not a mound-charging incident, but it did result in Alex Rodriguez getting punched in the face by the Red Sox's Jason Varitek.
After Rodriguez is hit by a pitch, he walks up the first base line screaming profanities (watch the video and you can read his lips to see the phrase he repeats). Varitek takes offense to this and some shoving quickly escalates into a bench clearing brawl.
The fact that it was Yankees vs. Red Sox definitely helped the fight gain popularity, but the fact that A-Rod gets hit had to help it's popularity just a bit.
Chan Ho Park Scissor Kicks Tim Belcher in 1999
This wasn't technically a mound-charging, but Chan Ho Park did manage to escalate things into a bench clearing event fast.
Apparently upset by a tag that he felt was a little unnecessarily rough or some words exchanged after the tag, Park pushes Tim Belcher in the head.
Of course Belcher heads to fight back.
And then Park unleashes a scissor kick that really didn't seem to do him any good at all.
Belcher won this brawl, but Park got off the most memorable moment of the day.
Minor Leaguer Izzy Alcantara Kicks Catcher Before Charging the Mound
This surprising basebrawl took place on July 3, 2001 in a game between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons.
Minor leaguer Izzy Alcantara gets brushed back by a pitch, kicks the catcher right in his chest protector, and proceeds to sprint out to the mound.
I'm pretty sure he would have beat the catcher in a sprint anyway, but then he fails to land his punch on the pitcher before turning to take on anyone and everyone that comes near him.
Alcantara did find his way back to the majors after this incident but played his last Major League game on August 22, 2002 for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Kyle Farnsworth Tackles Paul Wilson in 2003
Kyle Farnsworth throws a little high and tight to the Reds' Paul Wilson.
Wilson apparently didn't see it as an accidental pitch that got away and mouths off a little to Farnsworth, who I am sure had his own words to throw back that the camera did not catch.
What happens next was just really poor judgement by Wilson.
He begins to charge Farnsworth, who is happy to charge right back and do his best linebacker impersonation as he sacks Wilson.
May 19, 1998: Darryl Stawberry Sucker Punches Armando Benitez
Armando Benitez decided to get retaliation against the Yankees after Bernie Williams had hit what would wind up being a game winning three-run homer in the eighth inning.
Benitez drilled Tino Martinez in between the shoulders and then challenged Martinez after the pitch.
Both benches cleared, and as you can see in the replays, Yankees relief pitcher Graeme Lloyd chased Benitez towards the dugout trying to get in some shots of his own.
Then, seemingly out of no where, Darryl Strawberry appears and lands a sucker-punch on Benitez, knocking him into the dugout.
Yankee's owner George Steinbrenner would claim after the game that he had never seen anything like it in over 25 years of baseball.
Fight Night at Fenway Park: Coco Crisp vs. James Shields in 2008
The previous game Coco Crisp slid hard into Tampa Bay's Akinori Iwamura, setting the stage for what happened this particular night.
James Shields retaliated for the Rays by throwing at Crisp in his first at-bat.
Crisp took off towards the mound, dodged the punch thrown by Shields, landed one of his own, and was then tackled and dog-piled by several Rays players.
Both Crisp and Shields were tossed from the game.
April 22, 2000: White Sox vs Tigers
This game resulted in the largest mass-suspension in league history.
Jim Parque plunked Detroit's Dean Palmer in the seventh inning in retaliation for Carlos Lee being hit an inning before by Jeff Weaver.
Palmer charged the mound and threw his helmet at Parque, instigating a huge bloody fight in which some hard punches were landed.
Another bench clearing occurred in the ninth inning, resulting in a total of 11 players being ejected and subsequently suspended by Major League Baseball.
Robin Ventura vs. Nolan Ryan
This has become a MLB classic.
On August 3, 1993, Nolan Ryan hits Robin Ventura with a fastball. Ventura obviously took offense to the pitch and decided to charge the mound.
If he wasn't already thinking it was a poor decision before he reached the mound, he certainly should have been after a 44-year old Ryan pummeled him on national TV and in a video that will live on forever in baseball history.
The fight did not end there, though. Just as things seem to be dying down between the Rangers and White Sox, another fight breaks out.
August 12, 1984: San Diego Padres vs. Atlanta Braves
The Ryan-Ventura fight may be the most famous fight, but this game between the Padres and Braves back in 1984 may have been the most shocking in terms of mound-charging events.
Pascual Perez, the Atlanta starting pitcher, drilled Padres' leadoff man Alan Wiggins in the first at-bat of the game. Some words were exchanged between Wiggins and Perez to set the stage for Perez coming to bat in the bottom of the second inning.
Padres' starter, Ed Whitson, threw a brush back pitch at Perez who began waving his bat threatening Whitson. The situation quickly escalated and the benches cleared.
The Padres would try to hit Perez three different times before Craig Lefferts finally nailed him with a pitch, inciting the second bench-clearing brawl of the night.
Braves reliever Donnie Moore hit Graig Nettles in retaliation in the top of the ninth inning, thus beginning the third bench-clearing of the evening.
The end result of this game was three bench-clearing brawls, 13 ejections, and even five fans being arrested. Oh, and a hot dog vendor spilled dirty hot-dog water on a shirtless Ed Whitson.