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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.

10. Mike Sweeney (Kansas City Royals) Runs Down Jeff Weaver (Detroit Tigers), 2001

Speaking of those “wait, what the hell happened?” sort of fights: Everything looked totally normal during this Tigers-Royals game, when suddenly Mike Sweeney charged at Jeff Weaver like a linebacker trying to pancake a quarterback. Apparently Weaver had said something insulting to the Royals first baseman after the Royals asked the umps to examine his resin bag for the second time in the game. Sweeney charged immediately at an unsuspecting Weaver, hurling his helmet at him and ripping him down with a tackle before the rest of each team joined the fray.

11. Alex Rodriguez and Jason Varitek Spark Wild New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox Brawl, 2004

The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have brawled quite a few times over the years, and one of the most memorable involved MLB superstar Alex Rodriguez in his first season in pinstripes. After driving in the winning run against Boston in the game the previous day, Rodriguez stepped to plate in the third inning and was drilled by starter Bronson Arroyo with a pitch.

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A-Rod gave Arroyo a staredown and had some harsh words for the pitcher as he started to move towards first base. Just as that was happening, Jason Varitek got in front of Rodriguez and that’s when the fun really started. Varitek smashed Rodriguez in the face with his glove and the two started scuffling before both benches rushed out onto the field. By the end of the melee a few players were left bruised and banged up, including Tanyon Sturtze, who had blood dripping down his face after it was over.

The fight turned out to be only one chapter in a wild game that day—After going down 10-8 entering the bottom of the ninth inning, the Red Sox came back and won 11-10 after scoring against legendary closer Mariano Rivera. The brawl gave sports fans an exciting moment and one of the most iconic sports-fight images of all time: Varitek smashing his catcher’s mitt into A-Rod’s face.

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