Basebrawl at Fenway Park: Several slugfests that interrupted the game

Fenway Park has often become a boxing ring in the stands and on the field, especially when the Boston Red Sox play the New York Yankees.
New York Yankees vs Boston Red Sox - July 23, 2004
New York Yankees vs Boston Red Sox - July 23, 2004 / Jim Rogash/GettyImages
7 of 7

The clubhouse is not a sanctuary

Jimmy Piersall and Billy Martin were not known for their shyness or lack of intensity. In 1952 the two decided to settle their differences on the runway at Fenway Park. Neither player commented on the feud or what the outcome was.

The fiery Martin went on to be a successful manager and had a litany of public and private issues. Impulse control and anger management were not high on Martin's list of accomplishments. Martin and Yankee slugger Reggie Jackson once put on a great show in the Bombers dugout at Fenway Park.

Piersall was the greatest outfield glove I have ever seen and suffered severe mental health issues. Piersall's life can be viewed here - thank you, SABR!, Piersall was entertaining and his 100th home run is a great example of being entertaining.

In 2008 a series of incidents led to Manny Ramirez being shipped out of town. Manny being Manny was in a conflict with teammate Kevin Youkilis that was caught on camera. Youk was not known for his reticent nature and undoubtedly had targeted Manny over Manny's lazy approach to the game.

A supposed outcome of the situation was the taking of an internal vote on keeping Manny. The results were no one wanted Manny, and he was gone. Manny could still slug and had 20 homers and a .298 batting average when traded to the Dodgers. After that, Manny's career faded with drug suspensions and poor performance.

Why does a team trade a superstar? We saw that with Mookie Betts, but back in Red Sox history, another MVP was traded who was instrumental in winning two championships. Tris Speaker was just 27 years old and considered by many the best player in the AL, and Ty Cobb was in his prime.

The Red Sox clubhouse was in ruins, and Speaker was part of the mess. He was staunch Anti-Catholic in a Catholic town and clubhouse. Speaker reportedly was a KKK member and an irascible individual who fought with teammates and just about anyone else. Speaker and Ty Cobb on the personality chart, and both eventually became teammates.

The trade return was considered underwhelming (think Betts), but Boston won it all in 1916, a year after the deal. As for Speaker, he won the batting title, but his fighting days were not over.

More Red Sox news and analysis