Since it’s the 4th of July, it’s only fitting to look back at past Mets brawls, where on-field fireworks and timeless memories were created. This list does not include notable Mets vs. the Media altercations, which have their own set of fireworks!
The 1986 Mets
It’s well-documented the ’86 Mets were rock stars on and off-the-field. Even though more than 30 years have passed, this team still has a special place in my heart. Aside from the winning and partying, this team was known for its toughness. Ray Knight boxed, Kevin Mitchell was no-joke tough, Wally Backman, and the list goes on and on. Here are some of the notable ’86 brawls.
Brawl-for-All: Mets vs. Reds
Mets brawls vs. the Reds have been notable. Harrelson vs. Rose stands out. However, when I think of Mets brawls in my childhood, Ray Knight vs. Eric Davis stands out. Knight button-hooking Davis is one of those classic images that will never be erased from my mind. As a result of the brawl and subsequent ejections, Gary Carter had to play third base and the combo of Jesse Orosco and Roger McDowell alternated playing the outfield. Simply Amazin’.
Mets vs. Dodgers
I’ve written a lot about Mets games against the Dodgers – and not because of Don Aase – but that’s because these two teams had a solid rivalry going on in the late 80s. I actually don’t ever recall seeing this particular brawl in ’86, but it comes as no surprise that Ray Knight was in the middle of it!
Fight to the Finish: Mets vs. Phillies
As division rivals, it’s not shocking that these two teams don’t like each other. Come to think of it, these teams have had some epic brawls in the past. While there was never a brawl involving Chase Utley’s Phillies, it’ll be interesting to see if there is any retribution this season considering Rhys Hoskins slowly rounded the bases after a home run earlier this year. Time will tell.
Anyhow, back in 1990, both teams cleared the benches and bullpens at Shea Stadium after Doc Gooden was hit. Watching this clip, it’s pretty astounding to see who was on the Mets roster back then.
Of course, this fight may have been carry over from the home finale in 1989, when Roger McDowell and Gregg Jefferies went at it when the game concluded. Notable in this skirmish was that it was Keith Hernandez’s last home game as a Met.
Jose Reyes Goes ‘Fishing’
The 2007 Mets will forever be remembered for collapsing down the stretch – blowing a seven game lead with 17 games to play – allowing the Philadelphia Phillies to win the NL East. What might be forgotten is the brawl between the Mets and Florida Marlins in the second-to-last game of the season.
During this Saturday afternoon game, clinging to hopes of saving the season, John Maine pitched a masterful game – nearly tossing the first no-hitter in club history. But all is an after-thought when a skirmish broke out between the two teams after Luis Castillo was nearly drilled on consecutive pitches. As Gary Cohen said on the broadcast, “the Mets are getting a little feisty for the first time this season.”
Tim Teufel vs. Rob Dibble
I thought about putting this one under the Mets-Reds section above, but this brawl was too good to omit, given the way Teuful went after the much larger Dibble.