Relive Nolan Ryan’s Epic Beatdown of Robin Ventura On Its 23rd Anniversary

Happy birthday to greatest baseball brawl of all time.

It’s tempting to call Robin Ventura a coward for what he did on August 8, 1993. The White Sox manager, then a third baseman for the South Siders, was 26 years old at the time. And after he was plunked in the elbow by Nolan Ryan he charged the mound to start what might be the most famous fight in baseball history. 

Ryan was 46. It was his last season in baseball. In most instances, attacking a middle aged man two decades your senior is unfair and reprehensible. And if Ventura had gone to the mound and knocked out old man Ryan, it would have been in this instance too. But that’s not what happened. 

As soon as Ventura got to the mound, Ryan put him in a headlock and starting wailing on his face. It resulted in one of the most iconic baseball photos ever taken (up there at the top) and Ventura’s memorable summation of the fight, which he gave after the game: “He gave me a couple of noogies, but that was about it.”

This GIF tells a different story. 

Happy 23rd birthday to baseball’s greatest brawl.