I would argue that baseball fights are the best sports fights. They are rare, the players aren’t obscured by helmets or pads, and you have a big ol’ field to play with. Most of the time, the benches empty, the pitchers run in from the bullpen, but punches aren’t thrown. But every now and then, you get a group of players/teams that really do hate each other, and we get to see a bunch of grown men fight each other without any sort of legal consequence. It is incredibly fun to watch.
We had an all-time great baseball brawl over the weekend, when Rougned Odor punched Jose Bautista in the face. In honor of that, here are my 10 favorite baseball fights of all time:
10) Coco Crisp vs. James Shields, 2008
Shields goes for a massive punch, but Coco Crisp evades it because he is a ninja.
9) Nolan Ryan vs. Robin Ventura, 1993
Nolan Ryan was 46 years old, Robin Ventura was 26. The old man wins.
8) Kyle Farnsowrth vs. Paul Wilson
You don’t normally see a pitcher charge a batter, but Kyle Farnsworth is certifiably insane.
7) Michael Barrett vs. A.J. Pierzynski, 2006
Everyone hates A.J. Pierzynski. Barrett’s punch to the face spoke for all of us.
6) Padres vs. Braves, 1984
Look at the fan at the 1:18 mark. He jumps onto the top of the dugout and throws a beer can into the ruckus.
5) Rougned Odor vs. Jose Bautista, 2016
You never see a player land a punch like that! One more time:
4) Pedro vs. Gerald Williams, 2000
I love the way Gerald Williams walks down the first base line, glances at his wrist, looks at Pedro, glances at his wrist again, looks at Pedro again, glances at his wrist one more time, then decides to charge the mound.
3) A-Rod vs. Varitek, 2004
You can read A Rod’s lips, and he is clearly saying something not nice.
2) Armando Benitez vs. entire Yankees team, 1998
Benitez dares the entire Yankees team to fight him. They do.
1) Clemens vs. Manny vs. Pedro vs. Zimmer, 2003
2003 ALCS, in the heat of the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry. Not the most violent of fights, but given the context of the game, it’s my favorite. RIP Zim.