Former MLB player lands vicious punch during chaotic Venezuelan winter league brawl

Former MLB catcher Hector Sanchez landed a vicious punch during a massive brawl in the Venezuelan winter league. (AP)
Former MLB catcher Hector Sanchez landed a vicious punch during a massive brawl in the Venezuelan winter league. (AP)

Former major league catcher Hector Sanchez had a major role in a wild brawl that broke out during Wednesday’s Venezuelan winter league game between La Guaira and Caracas.

The stunning scene played out in the ninth inning of La Guaira’s 6-2 win and resulted in the ejection of four players.

Sanchez, who was the designated hitter for La Guaira in Wednesday’s game, can be seen landing a huge punch on Caracas right fielder Felix Perez at around the 22-second mark in the video below. The punch occurred during the brawl’s second wave, which Perez instigated after breaking free from the restraint of several teammates.

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Sanchez played in 347 major league games for the San Francisco Giants, Chicago White Sox and most recently the San Diego Padres in 2017. The 29-year-old catcher was not listed among the players ejected. Perez and La Guaira pitcher Jorgan Cavanerio were confirmed to be ejected for inciting the brawl.

How it all began

It all started moments earlier when Perez charged the hill after Cavanerio fired two of three pitches behind him during his ninth-inning at-bat. Perez charged and fired his helmet at Cavanerio before tumbling to the ground. Cavanerio fired back with a kick that appeared to catch Perez in the chest or stomach.

It wasn’t immediately clear what led Cavanerio to throw behind the batter, but the pitches reportedly looked intentional. The initial action sequence ignited a massive scrum that moved around the home plate area for roughly 30 seconds before seemingly calming down.

Then Perez jumped back in and utter chaos erupted.

Fan involvement

The brawl’s second wave ended up near the stands on the third-base side of the field. At one point it even spilled into the Caracas dugout. Some fans could be seen throwing drinks and other items into the fray. Another fan was spotted running on to the field and stealing outfielder Yonathan Daza’s glove.

Game was completed

Despite a brawl that will go down as one of the wildest we’ve seen at any level of baseball, the game continued after a 15-minute delay and was completed without any further incident. Fortunately, La Guaira only needed to record three more outs.

Current major leaguers played in this game

The game also featured a few players who were on MLB rosters in 2018. The most notable being St. Louis Cardinals first baseman/outfielder Jose Martinez. Jose Rondon of the Chicago White Sox, Junior Guerra of the Milwaukee Brewers and Gregorio Petit, who played for the Minnesota Twins in 2018, also appeared in the game.

There were some other familiar faces involved too. Jesus Guzman was among the players ejected. He played in 410 MLB games, last appearing in 2014. Ozney Guillen, the youngest son of former White Sox shortstop and manager Ozzie Guillen, was a defensive replacement for La Guaira.

We’ll have more information on this brawl and what should be some pretty significant fallout as it becomes available.

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