Before the UFC, There Was This 1984 Padres-Braves Brawl

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Twenty-five years ago, the San Diego Padres won the National League pennant and their success can obviously be traced to a long, dragging, hilarious mid-August brawl with the Braves that was interrupted a few times to actually play baseball. Team unity through mass violence! Hey, it worked for the Ottoman Empire!

The North County Times in San Diego printed the article to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the brawl that pretty much started when Braves pitcher Pascual Perez plunked the Padres' Alan Wiggins with the first pitch of the game. Padres manager Dick Williams decided to have Ed Whitson hold off retaliation until Perez came up , but Perez kept dancing out of the way and Whitson and two other Pads pitchers whiffed in Perez' subsequent at-bats.

It wasn't until the eighth inning (Perez' fourth plate appearance) when Craig Lefferts finally nailed Perez on the elbow before the brawl really got underway.

Some more highlights:

  • "(Bob) Horner tackled (Champ) Summers with the unsolicited help of two fans who leaped out of the stands."
  • "On his way back to the Padres' dugout, (Kurt) Bevacqua was pelted in the head by a mug of beer tossed from the crowd. He hurdled atop the dugout to attack the perpetrator but slipped while throwing a punch and fell into the seats."
  • "Whitson was icing his arm in the clubhouse, watching the game on TV. But when (Donnie) Moore hit (Graig) Nettles, he put on the first pair of pants he could find and returned shirtless to the dugout, where he was threatened by an unruly fan armed with a bat. Another fan raced onto the field to try to steal third base ---- literally ---- but was tackled by (Chris) Chambliss and (Jerry) Royster."

In the end, there were three bench-clearing brawls and thirteen ejections of players and managers. The action even carried over into the stands as five fans were ejected and a hot dog vendor spilled his dirty wiener water all over a shirtless Ed Whitson:

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Sorry to get you all excited with the downright sexiest picture we've ever posted at Walkoff Walk. But I have good news! The ENTIRE BRAWL is on YouTube and was collected by Gaslamp Ball. If you want to enjoy the best part of the brawl but don't have a spare 28 minutes that it would take you to consume all four parts of the video, just hit play on the YouTube flick embedded below and skip to the 6:30 mark to see a certain pudgy future HOFer bodyslam a Brave:


Then head over to Gaslamp Ball during your lunch break to experience the joy that comes from watching grown men grapple. Especially a shirtless Ed Whitson. Rawr!

(Thanks to Gaslamp Ball and Brian Hiro at the North County Times)


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4 Comments

I feel like I should fight Phony Gwynn after watching this.

Remember when Ed Whitson pitched for the Yankees? I wish I didn't. He was the 1980's version of Kevin Brown and Carl Pavano.

Matt, I got lit up by the 2nd-worst team in our league last night - beaned 3 guys, walked a few more, gave up like 7 earned in just over an inning - so I am READY TO THROW DOWN.

Also, Kurt Bevacqua? There's a blast from the past.

Wasn't Champ Summers a character in Anchorman?

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