The Ole Ball Game

bench-clearing brawl

Pirates/Brewers Brawl

Pirates/Brewers Brawl

hello,(female here)asked: Now, thats out of the way! Very curious, when was the first recorded all out of the dugout brawl and between who?

Appreciate any other brawling facts you might have before such things like tv & radio covered such events in such detail.

Definitely more interested in the major leagues. thank you.

Rick answered: Thank you for your question.

I have had no luck in finding any recorded history of when the first brawl occurred.

I would bet it was very early on in the games inception, just due to the nature of the game.

The game of baseball lives by a very strict set of "unwritten rules". These rules lie outside the actual nuts and bolts of the baseball rule book.

Failure to follow those rules by an individual or team most generally results in some form of retaliation from the violated party.

The form of punishment doled out is generally to purposely hit a batter on the offending team.

It may be the player who instigated the issue to begin with, or it may be another player with no stake in the fight, other than being a member of the offending team.

If the offense is deemed serious enough, it may result in hitting the opposing team's best player, creating additional emphasis to the retaliation.

These feuds can linger for years. Instant retaliation sometimes happens; but often teams will wait to dole it out at another place and time. Can even carry over from one year to the next.

Minor infractions are usually settled with "dosing" one hitter, and moving on. There are, however, incidents where a team retaliated and the other team does not recognize there was an issue. Those events can go on and on, with any little infraction over the years bringing forth a response.

At the present time, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Pittsburg Pirates are in the midst of an ever increasing problem.

This past Wednesday night a Pirate pitcher attempted to come inside with a fastball, to the D'Backs best hitter, and team leader.

His control was not good, and the result was that he hit the batter in the hand. It resulted in a broken hand for the hitter, he is out for the remainder of the season.

There was some serious shouting and pointing fingers, the Pirates saying it wasn't intentional, the pitch just got away from him.

The Diamondback's position was, and is, that if a pitcher doesn't have enough command to keep from hitting batters, he shouldn't throw inside.

The atmosphere has been tense for the rest of the series. The next game after they hit Goldschmidt, everyone was on edge, waiting to see what and when the Diamondbacks would do.

It came late in the game, in a non-crucial part of the game, they hit Macutcheon, the Pirates best player. The pitch caught him square in the back, dropped him straight down. He is unhurt, other than being bruised; the Diamondbacks may see this as over. No guarantee the Pirates would, as they steadfastly held to their statement that Goldschmidt was not intentionally hit.

It may, at some point, blossom into a bench clearing brawl. Later this year, next year; but you can bet it hasn't ended.

An additional factor was added at the end of last nights game.

The score was tied, Diamondbacks on first and third, with one out.

Pirates were set for attempting to get a double play. The Diamondbacks hit a ground ball to the shortstop which should have been a double play.

The second baseman's throw to first hit the sliding runner in the hand, which he had extended above his shoulder.

Ball ricocheted off his hand, runner from third scored, Diamondbacks won. Pirates claimed runner intentionally knocked the ball down. Umpires disagreed, game over.

Just one more "log on the fire" of this festering situation.

If you go to Amazon Books, you can search "baseball books The Baseball Codes".

Amazon has a few different books on the topic, you might find them interesting. Most are not too expensive. The original authors on this topic are Jason Turbow and Michael Duca.

Seldom does anyone get hurt in these brawls; but an injury like what happened to Goldschmidt is often the start of one.

I believe you will find this topic interesting. These codes are prevalent all the way down through high school baseball. There may be some of it in Little league; but there shouldn't be.

Yours in baseball,


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