Few things get me fired up about the upcoming baseball season like re-visiting a good ol’ fashioned basebrawl.
Unfortunately, baseball skirmishes aren’t quite what they used to be. But what if I told you one of the all-time greatest rumbles wasn’t all it appeared to be?
Because for as long as I can remember, the showdown between 46-year-old Texas Rangers Hall of Fame tough-guy pitcher Nolan Ryan and 25-year-old fresh-faced White Sox third baseman Robin Ventura was a one-sided whooping delivered by Ryan to Ventura.
However, if you look at what is laid out below, it’s increasingly difficult not to make a case for this alternative truth to be the new reality. Watch the fight closely, now.
Yes, Ryan lands a handful of scrapes to the top of Ventura’s dome and then Ventura counters with a headlock of his own , but there’s a video out there that suggests the fight didn’t go exactly as you remember it:
And more importantly, now that you’ve watched with a fresh set of eyes and a different perspective, did you notice anything else unusual?
The biggest (and most direct) punch landed was from Ivan Rodriguez, whose left hand strikes a direct blow to the face of his own teammate, Nolan Ryan, and knocks his cap off.
Re-watch again and you’ll see that Ventura’s arms being wrapped around Ryan allows for Rodriguez to deliver the one big hit.
That’s right, the Ventura-Ryan fight was an inside job. Nothing more than a WWE-style fight, a “work” as wrestling fans would describe something that was planned to happen to get the crowd going. And it literally “worked” exactly as it was planned!
This old school smackdown may have been an illusion, it may have been an inside job, or maybe it really was a legit whoopin’, but a minimum it was a brief distraction in a mid-August game during the dog days of summer.