On this date in sports history, we’re going back to 1993, when haircuts were bad (but getting better) and Sleepless in Seattle changed the Empire State Building forever. The greatest, and probably most one-sided, brawl in the history of baseball’s #PettyWarz occurred.
After Robin Ventura got an RBI single in his first at-bat, Nolan Ryan, feeling the weight of the rivalry and being fed up with Ventura, plunked him on the shoulder blade. Robin did not take too kindly to this and charged the mound. This was a bad decision. 46-year-old Nolan Ryan turned 26-year-old Robin Ventura’s head into guacamole.
Now 24 years later, this fight only gets better with time. The fact that Nolan Ryan didn’t even get ejected following the incident makes it that much better. But, as a fight, it’s so beautifully poetic. This is what would happen to you if you charged the mound on your dad. I don’t care how much smaller your dad is than you, he can kick your ass.
My favorite part about it is the moment when Ryan pounces like a rattlesnake and grabs him in the headlock. Even Ryan’s cather, recently inducted Hall of Famer Pudge Rodriguez, realizes the brain rattling that is to come, attempting to pull Ventura away from his looming demise.
This fight is kind of like the baseball version of the fight between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker in the third Star Wars. Even if you don’t know Star Wars, it’s the part where Obi-Wan is like “don’t fuck with me, bro, you can’t win,” and Anakin is like “lol, you old fuck, imma kill your ass.”
Nolan Ryan just said that in his head. You can see him gearing up. With historical context you can almost see the grin on his face as he’s imagining the scrambled eggs that Robin Ventura’s brain was going to be in no time at all.
So happy 24th birthday to The Mashing.