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History Of The Bench-Clearing Brawl

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History Of The Bench-Clearing Brawl

The Yankees–Rays spring training brawl was a notable bench-clearer, but hardly exceptional in the grand scheme of things. Onion Sports remembers some of the best:

1861: A pitch thrown by New York Knickerbocker pitcher Chic Paulding at the head of Atlanta's Byron Teagarden starts the Civil War

1898: After getting hit by a pitch, Honus Wagner walks briskly to the pitcher's mound and waves his handkerchief right in Kid Nichols' face

1903: Without realizing they too could fight, the Chicago White Stockings get their asses kicked in their own dugout

1968: While not a bench-clearing brawl, the time when Bob Gibson wordlessly stalked onto the field, cut Ron Santo's throat, and walked back to the dugout is certainly worth mentioning

1972: Following a brushback pitch from Tom Seaver, Dave Kingman storms the mound with his bat and swings it at Seaver; he whiffs nine times in a row before finally connecting and sending Seaver's head 475 feet over the left-field bleachers

1987: Oakland A's manager Tony LaRussa notices his team struggling in a sixth-inning fight with the Texas Rangers, forcing him to call up players from the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats to join in the fray

1998: The Yankees and Orioles engage in what is not so much a bench-clearing brawl as it is a fracas

2002: A controversial strike call during a game between bitter rivals the Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals results in a stadium-clearing brawl

2003: In Game 3 of the ALCS, Pedro Martinez grabs Yankee coach Don Zimmer by the head, playfully tosses him to the ground, and then slowly digs his metal cleats into his skull

2006: In a brawl between the Dodgers and Brewers, 78-year-old Tommy Lasorda unexpectedly storms onto the field screams loudly while running around in circles, causing both teams to slowly retreat to their dugouts and look around nervously

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