It’s been 19 years since one of the most talked of and indelible images in baseball took place. It was 1993, and the Texas Rangers were playing the Chicago White Sox at the old Arlington Stadium . It was the final year of Nolan Ryan’s storied 27-seasons career, and Ventura was 26-years-old. Ryan was 46.
Of course, by now, many know the story. Ryan hit Ventura with a pitch. Ventura charged the mound. Ryan got Ventura in a head lock and took several turns (6 times, to be exact) using the White Sox player as a punching bag before Ivan Rodriguez was able to pull the two apart.
After all this time Ryan, now the owner of the Texas Rangers, and Ventura the manager of the White Sox, had not met. On Friday, they buried the hatchet.
The two met before the game. Nothing much, just a short conversation that took place outside the Rangers clubhouse at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington before the game.
"We just talked," Ventura said to the media after a 3-2 loss to the Rangers. "I congratulated him on the last couple of years. He's done a great job."
"It was just one of those things and it kind of took a life of its own," Ryan said to the media before the game. "It went well," said Ryan, who according to the Dallas Morning News, initiated the peace meeting. "It was kind of a nonevent, but it needed to be done. I didn't want it to linger and people think there were some hard feelings."
Interesting sidebar to the Ventura/Ryan scuffle…. When did the infamous brawl take place? August 4. When did the auction for the Texas Rangers take place that eventually saw the group with Ryan in win that auction? Yep… August 4, 2010.
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Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).
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