Anniversary! (HINT: Nolan Ryan)

I like anniversaries.  At least, I like them sometimes.

Here’s one I like.

I saw when I was looking for something else.

Nolan Ryan Robin VenturaToday is the 22nd anniversary of when Nolan Ryan beat the … out of Robin Ventura!  HERE

You charge the mound because you’re furious. Because you want to hurt someone. You know you’ll be ejected, fined, suspended, but it’s all worth it for brief taste of revenge. You never do it thinking that it all might go horribly wrong, and you might wind up on the receiving end of one of the most iconic beatdowns in sports history. Robin Ventura was one of the finest third baseman to ever play the game of baseball. I can’t hear his name without picturing him in a headlock, being whaled upon by a 46-year-old man.

It was nothing personal. The Rangers (and Ryan in particular) and White Sox had been at each other’s throats for three years, going back to when rookie Craig Grebeck had pimped a spring-training home run off the aging, ornery flamethrower. The two teams exchanged occasional beanballs, but things escalated in a game on Aug. 2 that saw four hit batsmen.

On Aug. 4, 1993, Robin Ventura greeted Ryan with a first-inning RBI single. In the second, White Sox starter Alex Fernandez hit Juan Gonzalez. So when Ventura came up in the third, Ryan drilled him in the upper arm. Ventura took four steps to first, then changed his mind.

Ventura’s errors were manifold. Rather than barrel into Ryan at full speed, he slowed down when he hit the mound, allowing Ryan to remove his glove. Ventura went low on Ryan, trying to wrap up his trunk, but couldn’t get any leverage on the big Texan. Ryan wrenched Ventura’s head to the side, as if trying to wrest it off, then deliver five or six short, quick uppercuts to Ventura’s dome before the cavalry could arrive.

Ivan Rodriguez was the first there, and the 21-year-old catcher was already in rough shape. He had undergone surgery on a broken cheekbone less than a week earlier, and had missed the previous night’s game with what sound like post-concussion symptoms. “I didn’t try to go out there and fight,” Rodriguez said. “I went out there to try to separate them.”

He couldn’t do a thing, as Ventura’s momentum was carrying the fight away from Rodriguez and into center field.

[…]

Read the rest there!

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13 Responses to Anniversary! (HINT: Nolan Ryan)

  1. TopSully says:

    Nolan Ryan was one of the best pitchers of all time. And he was tough. Tough in a lot of ways. Tough in the ways we used to celebrate before it became fashionable to bash toughness in favor of weakness. And Robin Ventura learned a valuable lesson that day. You don’t pick a fight with a tough old man. As an A’s fan i never liked the teams Ryan played for, but I always admired him.

  2. jfk03 says:

    I love baseball

  3. Eric says:

    Ryan had a couple if inches and at least 30 lbs on Ventura. I’d have been more impressed if he did it to Bo Jackson(who everybody seemed to be avoiding during the melee).

  4. Facta Non Verba says:

    Those dastardly White Sox are always trouble!

  5. Sonshine135 says:

    I had the pleasure of watching Nolan Ryan pitch in those years with the Rangers. He is truly a mountain of a man and a legend of the game. This video is a perfect example of why you “Don’t Mess With Texas”.

    This was a great ball club.

  6. TopSully says:

    Eric – Ryan was almost twice the age of Ventura so it was kind of impressive. And since he had his hands full, literally, with Ventura I’m not sure it is a fair complaint to say he was avoiding Jackson. Considering that Jackson was a professional FOOTBALL player in his spare time, I think that it was prudent for the rest of the Rangers to avoid him…

  7. Komo says:

    That was back when the players settled these. I don’t like the new rule where the benches are issued a warning.

  8. acardnal says:

    It’s easy to punch someone when somebody else (Rodriguez) is holding him for you.

  9. pj_houston says:

    To bad we can’t do this to our modernist Church hierarchy.

  10. pseudomodo says:

    I support the appointment of Nolan Ryan as head of the CDF!

  11. Clinton says:

    I had the good fortune to watch this as it happened, in a bar in Texas. Mr. Ryan was
    always well-respected down here, but I suspect that after that day he couldn’t pay
    for his own drinks anywhere he went in this state.

  12. Jacob says:

    Clinton, I’m pretty sure I watched this live too, in my case on TV. Ventura never had a chance once Nolan got him in that headlock. :)

  13. TheDude05 says:

    Now that was Rangers baseball. I remember my dad waking me up to see the replay and telling me that’s how you deal with a guy charging the mound. Proud to be a Texan that night.