Jun 25, 2020

Remembering Mets History: (1986) The Bill Robinson - Rick Rhoden Brawl

Friday June 6th 1986: Oh those fighting bad boy '86 Mets, they were at it again just eleven days since their last brawl, against the Dodgers at Shea Stadium.

This time it was the Mets cool coach; Bill Robinson, swinging away getting into it with Pirate pitcher Rick Rhoden. Robinson & Rhoden were team mates back on the 1979 Pirates World Championship team.

The first place Mets (34-15)  arrived in Pittsburgh for a twi-night doubleheader against Jim Leyland's fourth place Pirates (22-27). Ron Darling (6-1) took the mound against Rick Rhoden (4-3).

Starting Lineups

In the 2nd, the Mets put up a run after a Darryl Strawberry single, George Foster double & Ray Knight RBI single. But after that Rhoden shut down the Mets, he didn't allow a hit after the 3rd inning & struck out four batters. 

The Mets were getting frustrated & accused Rick Rhoden of doctoring up the baseball. Mets First base coach, Bill Robinson kept telling his hitters to ask home plate umpire; Billy Williams to check the baseball. Finally in the 5th inning things erupted.

The Pirates had a 2-1 lead & with two outs, Keith Hernandez reached on a walk. The next batter; Gary Carter got into a discussion with home plate umpire Williams. Davey Johnson came out to see what was going on & asked the baseball to be checked. Pirate skipper Leyland followed to protect his pitcher.

Quotes: Umpire Billy Williams: ''Carter asked me to look at the ball, he even picked up the ball and saw a mark on it. It was a new ball, and I don't know how it got marked. Then Johnson said if I didn't check out Rhoden, he'd protest the game. So, I went out to the mound and looked at his glove and his hand. Nothing.''

The ball wall was ejected, Carter ended up striking out, ending the inning. At this point Robinson started shouting something at Rhoden, Rhoden shouted back & the next thing you know punches were flying. The two went at it, then the players emptied from the dugout and the bullpens.

Kevin Mitchell grabbed Rhoden & Tony Pena tried to grab back Mitchell. Eventually order was restored & Robinson was the only one ejected, since he shoved Rhoden first. Robinson & Rhoden had been team mates together in Pittsburgh from 1979-1983.

The Pirates beat the Mets 7-1 in that game & the Mets won the second game to split the twin bill.

NL President Chub Feeny handed out the fines the next day. Robinson was fined $500, Mitchell $200. Pirates manager Leyland was fined $400, while Rhoden & Khalifa both were fined $200.

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