Benchclearing: Baseball's Greatest Fights and Riots

Overview

Admit it—you take a certain pleasure in witnessing baseball's embarrassing moments, those melees that bring tussling players, ejections, and tarnished reputations. In Benchclearing, journalist Spike Vrusho places you smack dab in the middle of the greatest and most infamous brawls, fistfights, and pile-on game-stoppers, including those that swept fans along for the ride. These are the stories Major League Baseball would prefer to forget, but ...

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Overview

Admit it—you take a certain pleasure in witnessing baseball's embarrassing moments, those melees that bring tussling players, ejections, and tarnished reputations. In Benchclearing, journalist Spike Vrusho places you smack dab in the middle of the greatest and most infamous brawls, fistfights, and pile-on game-stoppers, including those that swept fans along for the ride. These are the stories Major League Baseball would prefer to forget, but fans love to relive.

 

Among the incidents included are:

Red Sox hurler Pedro Martinez’s throw-down of Yankees coach Don Zimmer in the 2003 ALCS

Nolan Ryan's Texas-style whupping of White Sox third baseman Robin Ventura

Juan Marichal’s bat vs. Johnny Roseboro's head-the bloodiest moment in the long history of the Giants-Dodgers rivalry

Fan behavior at its worst, including Chicago's Disco Demolition Night and Cleveland's Ten-Cent Beer Night

An entire chapter devoted to the pugilistic exploits of Yankee legend Billy Martin

Battles involving well-known hotheads from Ty Cobb to Leo Durocher to Roger Clemens

 

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Urusho intriguingly recounts many of baseball's most notorious moments. Included are the infamous tantrums involving Roseboro and Marichal, Munson and Fisk, Ventura and Ryan, Piazza and Clemens, Varitek and Rodriquez, and so on. Appropriately, Billy Martin gets his own chapter. Remembered too are riots during a Ten-Cent Beer Night at Cleveland's Municipal Stadium and a Disco Demolition evening at Comiskey Park. For general libraries.

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599210520
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/4/2008
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Spike Vrusho was the editor-in-chief of the brilliant but short-lived New York Sports Express. Before that he was a writer for New York Press through the 1990s to 2002. He now lives and writes in Rhinebeck, NY.

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Table of Contents

Benchclearing: Baseball’s Greatest Fights and Riots

By Spike Vrusho

Table of Contents:

Introduction: Fightin’ words Chapter 1: Roundhouse--Raw nature of competitive sports, roots of baseball violence in Cobb, Devlin, Durocher.
--Summer heat and baseball’s endurance challenge.

Chapter 2: Pitched Battles--Ultimate confrontation of pitcher vs batter; Ventura-Ryan; Russell-McGraw (Rose); Bell-Sele (M.Vaughn); Bell-Kison; Dean Palmer-J.Parque; Haselman-Mussina; Sweeney-Weaver.

Chapter 3: 90 Feet of Mayhem--Basepath clashes; Robinson-Mathews; Rose-Harrelson; E. Davis-R.Knight; Chan Ho Park-T.Belcher

Chapter 4: Home Plate Pugilism--Trying to score; Munson-Fisk; Piniella-Fisk (Bill Lee); Pierzynski-Barrett; Sheffield-Kendall.

Chapter 5: Fan Depreciation--Audience participation melees; Tony Phillips into the stands in 96; Chad Kreuter into Wrigley stands; Wrigley fan confronts Randy Myers; Chambliss clears a path at Yankee Stadium; hunting knife thrown at Wally Joyner in Bronx; The Ligues vs KC base coach Gamboa at Comiskey; Visgar charges Bill Spiers in Milwaukee’s left field; Reggie Smith vs SF fan Michael Dooley; Milton Bradley’s free beer; Piersall takes on teens in Cleveland; Dime beer night in Cleveland; Disco Demolition at Comiskey Park.

Chapter 6: Mismatches--Albert Belle-Fernando Vina; John Cangelosi-John Smoltz

Chapter 7: Headhunters--Pedro Martinez-R.Sanders; Pedro Martinez-G.Williams; Clemens-Piazza; Dibble-E. Yelding.

Chapter 8: Bad Blood & Vendettas--A. Kennedy-Feldman (Angels-Rangers); NYY-Boston (Lonborg-Tillotson; A-Rod-Varitek; Nelson & Garcia-Fenway bullpen guy) Dock Ellis vs Reds; 1986 Mets vs The World.

Chapter 9: Australian Rules--Deconstruction of the May 19, 1998 battle between the Orioles and Yankees, led by Aussie reliever Graeme Lloyd who charged out of the Yankee bullpen, as seen by Spike at Yankee Stadium.

Chapter 10: Billy Martin--Cracked Jim Brewer’s cheekbone and went on to fight every front office he ever managed for, Jimmy Piersall, Reggie Jackson, Ed Whitson and a marshmellow salesman.

Chapter 11: A Mess in Atlanta--Padres-Braves features 14 ejections after beanball wars are started by Pascual Perez.

Chapter 12: Kicking Ash--Baseball bat as war club; incidents include B.Campeneris; Dave Winfield; Roseboro-Marichal.

Chapter 13: Go Down Swinging--Incidents that ended careers and/or seasons; Felix Millan-Ed Ott; A.Ramirez-Ben Sheets.

Chapter 14: Taking It Up With Management--Players fight their bosses; Randle-Lucchesi; Lilly-Gibbons; D.Ellis-Leppert/Murtaugh; Dibble-Piniella.

Chapter 15: Clubhouse Gladiators--Internal squabbles get physical; Sutton-Garvey; Chad Curtis, music critic; Cliff Johnson-Goose Gossage.

Chapter 16: Downtime Throw-Downs--Legacy of violence at Milwaukee’s Pfister Hotel; bars, elevators, hotel lobbies and planes (W.Wilson-J.Wathan) Kevin Brown berserk in Vero Beach spring training; Mr. 7 Mrs. Bobby Cox; late night dining with Boomer Wells in Manhattan.

Chapter 17: Wrist Slaps and Parking Tickets--Punishment and fines for players who fight.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good Idea Falls Short

    This seemed like a good idea - a tongue in cheek overview of various brawls in baseball history. SEEMED like a good idea. It got old fast. What might have been slightly amusing early on quickly became boring, if not annoying. Gave up about half way through and I RARELY quit on a book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2008

    A reviewer

    Spike Vrusho captures the essence of those moments we all wanted to watch, but didn't want to admit what actually may have been the best part of the game. He discusses Baseball from the beginning and how some players caused trouble on and off of the field. We all know about those championship series and the famous plays made or not made by players, but Spike takes us where few other authors dare to go. A refreshing look at our great American past time.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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