Cubs Den Archives: Looking back at some infamous Cubs bench clearing brawls

Last night's bench clearing "brawl" made me remember this old post, one of my first...

Baseball fights aren't like hockey fights.  The 2 participants aren't given enough time to settle things one on one.  There are rarely any solid punches landed.  And each team clears their bench, leaving you to watch a confused, muddled pile of bodies.  It's more mayhem than sweet science and there is almost never a clear winner.  That does not mean, however, that they aren't memorable.  Here are a few great and not-so-great Cubs brawls of the last few decades..

(Originally pubilshed on March 20th, 2011)


Filed under: Cubs Nostalgia

Tags: Cubs, Nostalgia


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  • I like it when the Cub hit the Sox hard in the face (in my mongo voice) - seriously that was an awesome punch by Barrett. It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy!

  • In reply to Cubswininallin2011:

    Barrett first man ever whip AJ...AJ impressed...Have deep feelings for Barrett.

    That was rarely get that clean a shot in a baseball fight. There were probably a lot of players who wanted to do what Barrett did!

  • Oh, thank you so much for reminding me about that Farnsworth take down. It's worth watching again:

  • In reply to bcwadsworth82:

    That was awesome wasn't it? Why would any sane person want to fight Kyle Farnsworth? In my memory, that was easily the Cubs best showing in a brawl...though I'm also partial to the little guy Kelleher taking Dave Kingman down. That one is my sentimental favorite. If you ever find video for that, let me know!

  • In reply to bcwadsworth82:

    I have one more, only because it sticks in my mind, the Reds in early 1984. The pitcher for the Reds was notorious hot head Mario Soto. The thing that sticks in my mind is Richie Hebner taking down a couple of dudes and challenging some more Reds to one took him up on the offer.

  • In reply to rodeosteve:

    Holy cow, how could I have missed that one?? Hebner looked like a man possessed. That one ranks right up there with the Cubs best with Farnsworth, Barrett, Myers, and Kelleher.

    Good one!

  • Wow, this one is so old that my name was listed as "walrus"! I put that up temporarily but it looks like it didn't change over.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    You are the walrus John.

  • It's moments like the fight last night, that make me miss having Farsnworth & Zambrano on our team.....

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Yes! And we could probably add Randy Myers to that list.

  • The fight I remember that went bad to worse was at Candlestick Park.....Cubs were at bat, and a fight ensure on the mound.....Gary Matthews comes out from left field and decked George Mitterwald from the blind side....Matthews took out a few Cubs in that fight.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Nice call! I didn't see that one. May have been slightly before my time. The first fight I remember was the Kelleher/Kingman debacle.

    I also vaguely remember Champ Summers going nuts and someone beaning him with a full beer.

    ... And the Sarge is another guy you don't want to mess with!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    When the Kingman / Kellher fight happen, the Cubs GM at the time said he would not sign Kingman when he became a F/A....but Kingman did play with the Cubs....and fished on Lake Michigan while on the DL as the Cubs played games at Wrigley........

    Kingman is the only player to play in all of the divisions in one season.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Kingman was a misanthrope. Didn't ever seem to want to have anything to do with anyone. He was my favorite player since I was just a kid and he hit long HRs. He'd have been even more miserable in today's game with the constant media scrutiny.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I wonder if Sarge's beer cans are still in the vines in the left field corner?

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Haha! Probably, maybe Andre Dawson would know.

  • Yeah Randy was another.... So Barrett punching AJ makes our list, but he was no match for Zambrano. lol

    My favorite Sox beat down wasn't even administered by a Cubs player....

    just a good 'ol fashioned butt whoopin' lol

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I'm going to guess that's the Nolan Ryan/Robin Ventura fight.

    Not sure there was a match anywhere for Zambrano. He had the right combination of skills, size, and a tad of craziness.

  • The Dawson/Show fight was my first game at Wrigley Field as a 12 year old. If I remember right, the benches cleared more than once in that one.

  • In reply to HawkeyeCub:

    I think you're right.

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    Remember being at a game against the Mets in Aug 84, Darryl Strawberry went after a fan in the stands (not sure why). I think that was the start the "Daaaaarrryyll" chant. Also you missed Big Rick Sutcliffe going after Show before Andre got up.

  • In reply to Robby Rae:

    Good memory on Strawberry..and I did forget that about Sutcliffe.

  • Here's a very sad tale about Show and it describes how the Dawson brawl was a pivotal moment in his tragic life:

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Wow. Never realized he was that affected by that whole incident. He really was a tortured soul.

  • First one I always think of is that Dawson one. Still remember that cut under his eye. Felt a little sorry for the pitcher. He seemed genuinely concerned... first for Dawson, then himself.

    Someone tell me if I'm wrong, but I have the vague memory with the hat stealing bullpen one that the Cubs team didn't come to the aid of the fans. Hope I'm wrong, that's like letting someone come into your place and slap around your sister while eating your Cheetos. Gotta defend your house better than that.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    I don't remember the Cubs rushing to the fans aid either. Maybe they found it hard to defend unruly drunks? I wonder if they empathized more with the players than the fans on this one.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think that's generally the case. The kind of thing we shouldn't think about too much though since it's hard to swallow that while we're pulling for them against the other team they'd pull for the other team over us. I understand it's a baseball fraternity blah blah blah, but you need to have the back of those that are rooting their asses off for you day in and day out.

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