'Twas chatting with my buddy Wilson today about what a pussy A-Rod is when the subject turned to baseball fights. We naturally agreed that Nolan Ryan's pummeling of then rising-str Robin Ventura was the best ever.
To this day, I'll never understand what Ventura was thinking. Of course, thinking after being plunked by a 96-mph fastball is never really top of mind, so in that regard I understand his rush to the mound. But this was Nolan Ryan. Fireballer. A rancher. A Texas folk hero. A ferocious competitor. He was Crash Davis, Davy Crockett and John Wayne rolled into one and then some. You take your welt and go to first like a good little boy.
And every time I see this video, I can clearly hear a calm yet stern 46-year old Ryan saying to Ventura in his Texas drawl, "Boy, don't you come out here...get on down to first now, hear me?...Ah I reckon not...all right then..."
And wham! Ventura goes down in baseball history as the youngster who got his whoppin'. Good stuff.