Sunday, August 20, 2006

August 20th, 1978

Dodgers at Mets

The end result of this game, a one-run victory by the Dodgers, was hardly surprising given the Dodgers would go on to the National League pennant while the Mets were earning another of their ninety-six losses that year. What was more uncommon was the events that took place before the game. Don Sutton, the Dodgers' one-time ace who was struggling through a season in which his ERA would end up below average, had made comments about the All-American image of Steve Garvey, specifically whether or not it was an act. Garvey, having an MVP caliber season, took exception (possibly because it was all an act, Garvey was fathering children out of wedlock at a Shawn Kemp like pace) and the two came to blows in the Dodgers' clubhouse.

Players getting into fistfights with their teammates is uncommon, but incredibly, this marked the second time in two years that a team which had a much-publicized fight between teammates would make the World Series. The altercation between Reggie Jackson and Billy Martin in a Fenway Park dugout is now much better remembered (in no small part because there's television footage of that) but obviously the late 1970s represented the peak of pennant winners slugging it out on and off the field.

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