Video Archive 22
"Friendship is one mind in two bodies.'" -- Mencius, Chinese author
Tempers Flare During Playoffs (5/13/1994)
There seemed to always be something brewing, bubbling under the surface whenever the 1990's Bulls and Knicks squared off. Never mind the point in the season, never mind the locale—these were two teams who didn't like each other much (partially because the Bulls usually triumphed in the end) but by and large, kept those emotions under the surface...
...with one major exception in the 1994 Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Knicks G Derek Harper, understandably unhappy over an elbow from third-string Bulls G JoJo English, voiced his displeasure. English didn't back down, and next thing anyone knew, Commissioner David Stern was about 10 feet away from full-on chaos.
Notes: Yes, whoever's doing the call. Security pushed John Starks. Can we move on?
For throwing the punch, Harper was suspended two games; English got one night off. At the time, there were obviously no rules against leaving the bench area during fisticuffs; that rule would take effect the following season in direct response to this brawl.
In terms of NBA stature, this may be the most unevenly matched fight of all-time, as Harper was then a 12-year veteran who'd averaged close to 20 PPG for much of that, while English was a second-year scrub who played 57 career games, including playoffs, with numbers too insignificant to print.
No other players or coaches were ejected or suspended.
This game is also memorable for Bulls F Scottie Pippen refusing to take the floor when what turned out to be the game-winning shot was drawn up for Toni Kukoc rather than him. Chicago won 104-102, cutting the Knicks' series lead to 2-1.
Jose Valverde Knocked Down (5/23/2008)
Former Diamondbacks and Astros reliever Jose Valverde was possibly the most animated pitcher of his era; surely his act was not enjoyed by all, and opponents wanted nothing more than to knock him down a peg.
But not like this. Not literally.
On this Friday night in Houston, shortly after a double by Phillies LF Pat Burrell, first-year Phillie Pedro Feliz dug in against the veteran closer Valverde. Feliz wound up with one of the scariest RBI singles you'll ever see or hear.
Notes: Valverde, as you see, stayed in the game, allowing another run before closing out the 4-3 Astros win. Despite another close game, he was not used the next night, probably more due to the 29 pitches he threw than the injury.
D'Backs And Dodgers Duel (6/11/2013)
First of all, there's some backstory: Earlier in this game, Arizona SP Ian Kennedy hit Dodgers OF Yasiel Puig with a pitch. Dodgers SP Zack Greinke seemingly retaliated for that by drilling Arizona C Miguel Montero shortly after.
Fast-forward to the 7th, with both starters still in. Despite warnings having been issued, Kennedy avenges Montero with a fastball up around Greinke's neck. As you see, quite the melee ensues.
What's so noteworthy about this brawl: so many stars of yesteryear gettin' physical. You will see Don Mattingly throwing down Alan Trammell, Mark McGwire locking horns with Matt Williams, Don Baylor and Kirk Gibson in the center of things.
Notes: Kennedy was immediately ejected (along with manager Gibson) and replaced with Brad Ziegler. That's Arizona coach Turner Ward you see slammed against the dugout rail by Dodger RP J.P. Howell (the two would later reconcile when Ward joined the Dodgers in 2016).
In all, there were eight ejections, including Dodgers RP Ronald Belisario, who you may spot running in from the bullpen throwing punches. That's Puig #66 you see toward the end, making things worse as he tends to do in these situations.
The Dodgers won 5-3 on a three-run double by C Tim Federowicz in the 8th. Greinke was pulled after the 7th and received a no-decision.
Dan Wilson Did WHAT? (5/3/1998)
Sometimes in baseball, the stars align so perfectly and that which was thought impossible proves just the opposite. Like a catcher hitting an inside-the-park grand slam without aid of a defensive injury.
Dan Wilson, longtime catcher for the Seattle Mariners, hit 88 career home runs. But only one of them left him catching his breath in the dugout after crossing home.
Facing the Tigers' Frank Castillo at the Kingdome with the bags full in the bottom of the 1st, Wilson drove a hanging breaking ball deep off the LCF wall. The video tells the rest of the story...
Notes: Luis Gonzalez is the Tiger LF crashing into the wall, flanked by Brian L. Hunter in CF. Castillo only lasted one-plus innings, and the Mariners held on for the 10-6 win. Edgar Martinez, David Segui and Alex Rodriguez scored ahead of Wilson, who finished the day 1-for-4.
The Helpful Mr. Nance (12/25/2015)
On Christmas Day 2015, in front of a national TV audience, the Los Angeles Lakers presented the rival Los Angeles Clippers with a very kind gift of two points, courtesy of rookie F Larry Nance Jr.
Very early in the game, Clippers G Chris Paul took and missed a three-pointer from the top of the circle. Rather than secure the rebound, Nance inexplicably tipped the ball gently toward his own hoop. As the video shows, it was a very generous gift!
Notes: This was Nance's 10th career start after opening the season as a reserve. Clippers C DeAndre Jordan, as the man closest to the tip, was credited with the easiest two points he'll ever "score".
The Lakers, proving why they were 5-24 entering the game, went on to lose 94-84. Nance did score six points in the proper basket.
Beware The Flying Bat (8/15/2013)
Signs around every ballpark warn spectators to be on guard for flying balls/bats—they've been known to exit the playing field at high velocities and cause injury.
In this case, however, the flying (broken) bat stayed on the playing field and tried to damage the Oakland Athletics' defense, namely SS Eric Sogard.
Former Athletic Chris Carter was the Astros batter; he was sawed off by pitcher Sonny Gray, but his brute strength sent the ball to Sogard in the air. Though Sogard was able to secure the out, the flying barrel basically upended him.
Notes: Sogard was attempting to double off Astros C Carlos Corporan, who had singled, off first base. The A's led 5-0 at the time of Sogard's fall and went on to win by that same score; Gray went eight innings.
Carter (the DH) and Sogard each finished 0-for-3 with a BB.
Fowl Ball! (3/13/2015)
Dave Winfield of the 1983 Yankees was the first on record to do so, with a thrown ball between innings. Atlanta's Dion James did so with a fly ball in 1987. Randy Johnson did so most famously, with a fastball back in 2001. And in Spring Training 2015, Tigers C James McCann joined the club.
The accidentally-killed-a-bird-on-the-field club.
Batting vs. an unknown Atlanta pitcher, McCann—then a rookie—fouled one back that wiped out the winged spectator. He would single shortly afterward.
Notes: Because this was a mid-March exhibition game, I wasn't able to find anything out about it besides the opponent. TSR takes pride in being able to dig up and share what other sites don't/can't. Sorry that we could not come through this time.
One Pitch Drills Miguel Rojas Twice (6/15/2018)
One must figure that anytime a Marlin gets hit above the shoulders—thankfully, not often—memories of Giancarlo Stanton take hold. What happened to Miguel Rojas in 2018 wasn't quite as scary as Stanton's vicious 2014 beaning, but it was no less fun to witness.
Rojas did take a 97-MPH fastball to the face, but mercifully, Kevin Gausman's pitch ricocheted off Rojas's hand first, considerably weakening the blow. Though he immediately departed the game, Rojas was back in there less than 72 hours later.
Notes: Yadiel Rivera pinch-ran for Rojas and took over at 3B. Miami went on to defeat Baltimore 2-0, with Rojas contributing a double, walk and run before leaving in the 6th. The HBP was Gausman's final pitch of the game. Marlins SP Jose Urena went eight strong for the win.