Revisiting the Time When Juan Marichal Hit Dodgers Catcher Johnny Roseboro With a Bat

Juan Marichal once attacked Johnny Roseboro with a bat
Juan Marichal once attacked Johnny Roseboro with a bat /

The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers don't like each other on the best of days, and they despise one another when both of them are fighting for a pennant late in the season.

In a 1965 game that was full of retaliatory beanings, Giants Hall of Fame ace Juan Marichal, who loved throwing right at players, started one of the most famous brawls in baseball history. Marichal claimed that Dodgers catcher Johnny Roseboro had thrown a ball back to the mound that whizzed right passed his head and dropped his gloves in anticipation of the fight. Marichal responded by swinging his bat at Roseboro, making contact with his head twice, and starting a brawl that wasn't diffused until 15 minutes later.

Marichal was suspended eight games, which caused him to miss two starts. He was also fined $1,750, the most an NL player had been fined in history to that point. Due to Marichal missing two key starts, the Giants slumped and ended up losing the pennant to the Dodgers

This brawl shouldn't overshadow what was one of the best careers in Giants history. The winner of more games in the 1960s than any other pitcher, Marichal made 10 All-Star games and put up an ERA of 2.76 or lower ever year from 1963 to 1969.

Astoundingly, Marichal and his famous high leg kick didn't get a single Cy Young vote in that span.

Oddly enough, Marichal and Roseboro became good friends after retirement, even making appearances together at various Old-Timers' games. At least there was a happy ending to one of the most notorious and violent brawls in baseball history.