The greatest Braves brawl of them all - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

The greatest Braves brawl of them all

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ATLANTA - It is a grim anniversary, but one that many fans of the Atlanta Braves will remember. Tuesday marks 30 years since a bench-clearing brawl between, then National League West rivals, Braves and the San Diego Padres. Well, it wasn't really just one fight, but a series of fights that broke out on the field of Fulton County Stadium during the game.

Some will claim that the Braves struck first with a pitch by starter Pascual Perez to back of Padres' second baseman Alan Wiggins' back in the first inning. It was a thud heard round the world... or at least heard all the way to San Diego.

Bottom of the second and the Padres were looking for little payback. Perez takes to the plate wearing a giant bull eye and words were exchanged. Padres starter Ed Whitson hurled one at the batter's box, causing Perez to jump out of the way. Whitson would try to bean Perez again in the fourth, but ends up getting ejected. Perez waved at the Padres' pitcher with his bat as the ump threw him out causing words to be exchanged between him and Padres catcher Terry Kennedy.

But the Padres attempted retaliation did not end there. Greg Booker, fresh out of the bullpen, picked up where Whitson left off, giving Perez another jump.

Tensions continue throughout the game. Fast-forward to the bottom of the either with the Padres down 5-1. Perez again at bat. Craig Lefferts was trying to close the deal, fired off a fastball that finally struck Perez squarely.

All hell breaks loose. The benches clear. Braves Bob Horner, his arm in a cast, even rushed out of the press box and throws on a shirt to help.

Things died down eventually and the two tense teams head into the ninth.

Reliever Donnie Moore on the mound for the Braves. Padres third baseman Graig Nettles at the plate. Can you guess what happened next?

Nettles gets nailed and the benches clear again.

When the dust settled, the benches were cleared at total of four times: The second, fifth, eighth and ninth innings.

Five fans were arrested for joining in the melees.

Both managers, Braves' Joe Torre and Padres' Dick Williams, as well as 13 other players were ejected from the game. Torre was suspended for three games and Williams got a hole in pocket for $10,000 and was given a 10-day suspension, a big penalty at the time. Fines and suspensions flew at players and coaches of both team including the three pitchers who took at Perez.

In a retrospective produced by Sports Illustrated, Padres catcher Terry Kennedy said this regarding the game:

"It would've been a lot simpler if we'd hit Perez his first time up. We missed him three times at bat. The whole thing got pretty ridiculous. It's bad to have kids watch something like this."

Joe Torre in the same retrospective remembered it this way:

"Dick Williams is an idiot. It was obvious he was the cause of the whole thing. Precipitating a thing like that was inexcusable. It was stupid of them, period, to take four shots at Perez. It was gutless. It stinks. It was Hitler-like action. I think he (Williams) should be suspended for the rest of the year."

The Padres, who were leading the National League West by 9 1/2 games going into the game, went on to clinch the National League, but lost the World Series to the Detroit Tigers in five games.

The Braves went on to end their season 80–82 and 12 games behind the Padres.

Do you remember this game? Tell us your thoughts at
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