Now that the Giants have won the World Series, baseball fans are debating whether Madison Bumgarner just gave us one of the greatest performances of all time by a Major League pitcher. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s not forget Nolan Ryan. I’m not talking about his pitching, I’m talking about the time he kicked Robin Ventura’s ass in 1993.
Ryan hit Ventura on the elbow with an inside pitch, and the sweet-swinging 26-year-old stormed the mound. Ventura explained later, “If you know the game, it’s no secret what he was doing. If you don’t think he did it on purpose, you don’t know the game.” But Nolan Ryan, 20-years Ventura’s elder, cinched up a headlock and pummeled the helpless whippersnapper before 32,312 delighted fans. Ryan said he used the same maneuver on steers when he branded them on his Texas ranch.
Removing any doubt that Ventura lost both the battle and the war, Nolan Ryan was allowed to stay in the game, while the humiliated third baseman slinked home to play some Nolan Ryan’s Baseball on his Super Nintendo.