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Baseball Brawls: The 13 Most Memorable Bench-Clearing Fights

Major League Baseball has a rough side. Here are the street fights that stayed on the diamond.

7. Mo Vaughn (Boston Red Sox) Takes Down Charging George Bell (Chicago White Sox), 1993

George Bell charged the mound after an errant pitch by Red Sox pitcher Aaron Sele sailed behind his head. Bell threw a wild punch at Sele and missed, only to be leveled by Red Sox first baseman Mo Vaughn. Vaughn’s momentum slammed Bell to the ground, ending the fight before the rest of the players could join in.

8. An Old-Fashioned Yankees–Red Sox Slugfest, 1976

This fight was the culmination of years of Yanks–Red Sox animosity, or, to be more specific, Yanks–Bill Lee animosity. Three years earlier, the often-inflammatory Lee had described the Yankees lineup as a “bunch of hookers swinging their purses.” The Bronx Bombers never forgot, and Lee never stopped running his mouth. The brawl came about after a huge home plate collision between the Yanks’ Lou Piniella and Sox catcher Carlton Fisk. Fisk held onto the ball for the out, but the intense impact brought about a scuffle between the two players. Everyone else got involved right after, including Lee, who was punched by Mickey Rivers, and later smashed to the ground by Graig Nettles, resulting in a left shoulder injury that sent him to the disabled list for a few months.

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9. Pedro Martinez (Boston Red Sox) Throws Down Coach Don Zimmer (New York Yankees), 2003

Emotions ran high in this playoff brawl between the Yankees and Red Sox, tipped off in the top of the fourth inning by a bean ball thrown by Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez. The Yankees’ Karim Garcia took a fastball to the back, apparently due to Pedro’s frustration at having just given up the lead. Trying to avoid an immediate brawl, the home plate umpire warned both benches, but a hard take-out slide at second base only a few minutes later brought both teams out.

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Even so, the most bizarre occurrence came about in the bottom half of the fourth after Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens threw up and in to Manny Ramirez, again clearing the benches. This time, enraged Yankees coach Don Zimmer charged at Pedro Martinez, forgetting the fact for a moment that he was 72 years old. Martinez sidestepped Zim, grabbed him by the face, and tossed him to the ground.



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