There was no love lost between the New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds in the 1970s and 80s, as the squads came to blows on several occasions.
Here's a look at the most memorable brawls between the Mets and Reds, plus a look at the rest of the top five bench-clearing battles in New York sports history:
1) New York Mets vs Cincinnati Reds, Oct. 8, 1973, Harrelson vs Rose: It wasn't quite Ali vs Frazier III, but the scrap between Mets shortstop Bud Harrelson and Reds slugger Pete Rose, was a moment that no New York baseball fan will ever forget.
The incident, which occurred during the third game of the 1973 NLCS, was the result of Harrelson taking exception to a hard slide into second base by Rose, in an attempt to break up a double play ball. The men started screaming at each other following the slide, and within seconds, they were rolling around on the dirt as if it were an MMA match.
The crowd on hand was so annoyed at the incident that they threw garbage at the Reds and Cincinnati manager Sparky Anderson had to take his team off the field.
2) New York Mets vs Cincinnati Reds, July 23, 1986, Knight vs Davis: By the mid-80s, the players from both squads had completely turned over from the 1973 teams, but the Mets and Reds went at it again when Eric Davis slid into Ray Knight on a stolen base attempt.
Knight was known for his tough-as-nails, "fight anyone, anywhere," approach to the game, and it didn't take much for him to get annoyed with Davis. This tilt was a true rock 'em, sock 'em affair, with Knight eventually leaving the field bruised, battered and bloodied.
3) New York Mets vs Cincinnati Reds, July 8, 1989, Teufel vs Dibble: "The Teufel Scuffle" wrapped up the epic fight trilogy between the Mets and Reds, as Tim Teufel charged the mound to get a piece of Reds pitcher Rob Dibble after he was drilled in the back.
4) New York Mets vs Los Angeles Dodgers, May 27, 1986, Knight vs Niedenfuer: Ray Knight said in an interview with WFAN in 2012 that fighting was just a way of life during his childhood, and he learned to scrap from duking it out with his cousins. Knight definitely took his warrior ways to the big leagues, as he incited several brawls in 1986.
The incident on May 27 occurred when Knight got drilled on the elbow by Dodgers pitcher Tom Niedenfuer. Knight was furious, so he charged the mound, causing both benches to empty.
5) New York Mets vs Florida Marlins, Sept. 29, 2009, Jose Reyes vs Miguel Olivo: The Marlins were apparently annoyed with Jose Reyes' dugout dances and hi-fives, and Florida catcher Miguel Olivo took matters into his own hands.
Reyes, who was standing on third base, started mouthing off to the catcher, and Olivo charged at him and nearly connected with a looping strike. Both benches would empty, and the incident seemed to energize a Marlins team that had nothing else to play for but to knock the Mets from the playoffs.
Best of the Rest:
Francisco Rodriguez vs Willie Harris, 2010
Willie Mays vs Elio Chacon, 1962
Pedro Martinez vs Jose Guillen, 2006
What other Mets brawls deserve a spot on this list? Let me know in the comments.
Eric Holden is a lifelong New York Mets fan. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.
- Sports & Recreation
- Cincinnati Reds
- the New York Mets
- Ray Knight
- Bud Harrelson