ARLINGTON — Happy Anniversary to the most famous brawl to come out of a Texas Rangers game. Seems like yesterday, but it was 22 years ago today that Chicago White Sox batter Robin Ventura charged the mound after Texas Ranger Nolan Ryan hit him in the upper arm.
And the rest is history. Rangers catcher Ivan ‘Pudge’ Rodriguez was first to join the Ryan-Ventura brawl on that August 4, 1993 night in Arlington; Rodriguez says he was just trying to break it up. “I didn’t try to go out there and fight,” Rodriguez told TulsaWorld.com. “I went out there to try to separate them.”
Following Pudge, the entire White Sox dugout emptied onto the field, met by the Rangers dugout. And it was ON.
Ryan ended up on the bottom of a heap of players, worried he was going to pass out. He was saved by White Sox player Bo Jackson and a grateful Ryan described the rescue:
“All I remember is that I couldn’t breathe,” says Ryan. “I thought I was going to black out and die, when all of a sudden I see two big arms tossing bodies off of me. It was Bo Jackson. He had come to my rescue, and I’m awful glad he did, because I was about to pass out. I called him that night and thanked him.”
Ventura and White Sox manager Gene Lamont were ejected from the game; Ryan was not and the Rangers went on to win 5-2. A great night in Texas baseball history.
Don’t mess with Texas.