Yippee, baseball season’s back.
And while a moon shot homer is always dope to watch, something that no fan can ever turn away from is when a massive brawl breaks out, causing both dugouts to spill onto the field and leaving everyone wondering what craziness might happen.
With so many nasty MLB brawls over the history of the sport, we figured the only way to truly appreciate the best was by ranking them—so that’s what the hell I did.
8. Pedro Martinez-Don Zimmer (2003)
We all know how heated the New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox rivalry is, but things got turnt during the 2003 ALCS when Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez tossed the Yanks’ 72-year-old bench coach Don Zimmer to the turf during a bench-clearing brawl.
It all started with a high-and-tight fastball to Boston’s Manny Ramirez at the dish, but ended with one of the most bizarre—and unevenly matched—takedowns in MLB brawling history.
7. Los Angeles Dodgers-San Diego Padres (2013)
One of the most recent examples of two teams throwing down, the L.A. Dodgers and San Diego Padres proved they didn’t give two shits about each other during a crazy fight at the beginning of the 2013 season.
After then Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke inked a massive deal with the team that offseason, one would thing he’d get more respect from opponents. Too bad that wasn’t the case here.
After nailing San Diego’s Carlos Quentin, the Padres slugger sprinted towards the mound and speared Greinke, hitting him so hard that it actually broke the pitcher’s collarbone and sent him to the DL for over two months.
Both benches cleared and it was like watching a bunch of kids scrap on the playground at recess before order could be restored.
6. Baltimore Orioles-New York Yankees (1998)
Already testy because they’re AL East rivals, things got straight-up ratchet in 1998 when Orioles reliever Armando Benitez drilled the Yankees’ Tino Martinez, causing the starting bell to ring.
Benitez, looking for anyone he could find to punch, ended up sucker-punching New York’s Dary Strawberry, as both teams took part in the melee.
The fact that one player ended up in the opposing team’s dugout makes this a fight for the ages.
5. Cincinnati Reds-St. Louis Cardinals (2010)
To this day, the one thing that sticks with me during this fight is then Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto helplessly pinned against the back net, kicking and screaming as if he were fighting a fucking arrest.
The brawl between the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds in 2010 was incredible, all starting because of Cards’ catcher Yadier Molina instigating it by talking shit to the Reds’ Brandon Phillips.
And just when tempers were thought to be cooled, a spark was reignited and the melee lasted about seven minutes, with both teams doing what they could to come out victorious.
4. Nolan Ryan-Robin Ventura (1993)
Standing in the right corner was Texas Rangers flamethrower Nolan Ryan, who, at 46 years old, was 20 years the senior of his competition, the Chicago White Sox’ Robin Ventura.
That didn’t stop the two from going mano e mano, though.
With Ryan beaning Ventura, the spry White Sox first baseman took off towards the mound, with the Hall of Fame hurler immediately getting him into a headlock and getting a few swift uppercuts in as both benches poured onto the field.
This was like watching your grandpa beat up on your uncle for taking the last beer from the fridge at a family retreat.
3. San Diego Padres-Atlanta Braves (1984)
Simply known as the “bean brawl” game, this 1984 contest between the Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres had it all—and it seemed to go on forever.
It all started on the fucking first pitch of the game, when Atlanta starting pitcher Pascual Perez hit San Diego’s Alan Wiggins.
When Padres pitcher Ed Whiston copped payback by beaning Perez during his at-bat the next inning, the first bench-clearing brawl occurred.
Oh, but it didn’t stop there.
With additional fights in the fifth, eighth and ninth innings—resulting in 14 players ejected—this brawl is one of MLB’s tops, setting the precedent for what a baseball fight should be.
2. Juan Marichal-John Roseboro (1965)
You know how they say that the MLB season is a marathon and that the dog days of summer will affect anyone? This fight between Hall of Famer Juan Marichal and John Roseboro proved that.
After Marichal brushed back several L.A. hitters with the hope of rattling them, the Giants pitcher saw what revenge was like during one of his plate appearances, as Dodgers catcher John Roseboro threw the ball back to the mound by whistling one past Marichal’s ear.
Pissed off after it continued during the at-bat, Marichal turned around and clocked Roseboro on the head with his bat, resulting in a two-inch gash that required 14 stitches.
Just another example of why the Dodgers-Giants rivalry is so heated.
1. Chicago White Sox-Detroit Tigers (2000)
16 players. That’s how many guys ultimately received suspensions after the brawl during the 2000 season between the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers that MLB admitted had “the biggest mass suspensions ever”—so you know it had to be a fucking barnburner.
It started with Detroit pitcher Jeff Weaver clocking Chicago slugger Carlos Lee, which caused White Sox pitcher Jim Parque to retaliate by beaning Dean Palmer—and the rest is baseball history.
Palmer rushed the mound and went full NFL linebacker on Parque, trying to tackle him to the ground after throwing his helmet at him.
And just when things were thought to be under control, more shit went down in the ninth inning, as another fight took place. When all was said and done, 11 players were ejected, making this the best brawl an MLB fan has ever witnessed.
BONUS: A Complete History Of Rays-Red Sox Bench Clearing Brawls: