In 1984, the feisty San Diego Padres made it all the way to the World Series, with a bump or two in Atlanta en route.
Deep into the pennant-winning '84 season, on August 12 at the-since demolished Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, the Padres played a spirited role in the so-called bean brawl, which included assault and battery with hard balls, fists, and threatening with menacingly brandished baseball bats.
The Padres came in that day leading the National League West by nine-and-a-half games, a blistering 22 games over .500.
According to archives including baseball-almanac.com, baseball-reference.com, and Sports Illustrated, here's what went on:
— The first pitch of the game was aimed at Padre Alan Wiggins and landed with a hard thud on the second baseman's back.
— In the Braves' half of the second inning, that pitcher, one Pascual Perez, came to bat and jumped just out of the way of a sizzler grooved at his body by Padres starter Ed Whitson.
— In the fourth inning, Whitson would hurl another one at Perez and get ejected for it as an angry Perez brandished his baseball bat in the direction of the Padres starter.
— Greg Booker took the mound to replace the ousted Whitson, and aimed his stuff straight at Perez instead of somewhere over the plate.
— By the bottom of the eighth, with the Padres down 5-1, Perez stepped in to bat again. Friars reliever Craig Lefferts closed the deal, firing in a missile that hit the Braves hurler
squarely. Revenge at last.
Then all hell broke loose. An injured Atlanta player named Bob Horner, his arm in a cast, rushed out of the press box to suit up so he could help take on the antagonists. The benches cleared.
Then, by the time order was restored enough to move into the ninth inning, Atlanta reliever Donnie Moore hit the target — the body of Padres third baseman Graig Nettles.
The ensuing chaos brought Padres manager Dick Williams a ten-day suspension and a $10,000 fine, a whopping amount at the time. Four Braves, including manager Joe Torre, were suspended for three days, as was a Padre pinch hitter named Champ Summers.
Nine Padres, including the three pitchers who threw at Perez — Whitson, Booker and Lefferts — were fined, along with two San Diego coaches. The league also levied fines on six Braves players.
"It would've been a lot simpler if we'd hit Perez his first time up," Padres catcher Terry Kennedy said in Sports Illustrated. "We missed him three times at bat. The whole thing got pretty ridiculous. It's bad to have kids watch something like this."
The 1984 San Diego Padres would end the regular season with 92 wins and 70 losses (a .568 winning percentage), vanquish the Chicago Cubs to win the National League pennant and then take a drubbing from Detroit as the Tigers won the best-of-seven World Series in five games.