In response to my post about this week’s brawl between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds, a friend sent me video of a memorable baseball fight from 1984. The contestants were the Atlanta Braves and the San Diego Padres.
The hero of this brawl was the Braves’ Bob Horner, an outstanding slugger of the era. He was on the disabled list at the time, and had spent the game with the radio announcers providing commentary. When the fight started, Horner left the booth, hurried into the club house, and put on his uniform. When the Padres’ Champ Summers attempted to enter the Atlanta dugout to get at Pascual Perez, Horner, with one hand in a cast, was there to intercept him.
Perez had hit Summers with a pitch earlier in the game. He opted to stay out of the fight, as did San Diego’s Craig Lefferts, whose retaliatory pitch started the brawl. Neither pitcher will remind anyone of Amir Garrett.
The video features a veritable who’s who of mostly forgotten players from the 1980s, a well as managers and coaches who played in the 1950s and 60s. Joe Torre, then the Atlanta manager, figures prominently, though not in the combat. You can even catch a glimpse of the great Bob Gibson, who was serving as pitching coach for Torre, his old teammate with the St. Louis Cardinals.