Remembering the first brawl at Camden Yards

Brian Roberts, in a 1-for-34 slump, is doing some early hitting on the field with Jim Presley, who's tossing him the ball underhand from halfway between the mound and the plate.

Watching Felix Pie go nose-to-nose with Seattle first baseman Justin Smoak Tuesday night might have brought back a few memories of the infamous 1993 brawl between the same two teams at Camden Yards.

I wasn't on the beat back then, but I sure do remember it. Mike Mussina drilled Mariners catcher Bill Hasselman, later a spring training invite by the Orioles, and the benches and dugouts emptied. But unlike Tuesday night, when players stood around for a few seconds and went back to their respective seats and positions, the 1993 incident turned into a classic 20-minute melee.

Players were ejected, though Mussina wasn't one of them. Blood was shed. A collarbone was broken for a second time.

It all started with Mariners pitcher Chris Bosio throwing behind two hitters. Mussina claimed that he wasn't throwing at Hasselman.

You be the judge.

By the way, Hasselman was asked about the brawl years later during a spring training morning with the Orioles, and he almost charged the reporter. He had no interest in reliving history.

Also, I love how Alan Mills was front and center during the fisticuffs, as always.

One more item: In case you missed it - and I tweeted it earlier today while speaking at the "Second Thursday Sports Luncheon" at J. Patrick's Irish Pub at 1371 Andre St. in Baltimore - the Orioles announced that their April 22 postponed game against the New York Yankees will be made up on Aug. 27 at 1:05 p.m. as part of a day-night doubleheader at Camden Yards. The originally scheduled game will still be played at 7:05 p.m.

Tickets dated April 22 will be accepted only at the 1:05 p.m. game. Fans should bring their tickets from the April 22 postponed game to the ballpark gates that day for admission. No exchange is necessary. Parking passes dated April 22 will be honored for the 1:05 p.m. game.

Fans who cannot attend the day portion of the doubleheader may exchange their tickets for any remaining game during the 2011 season, subject to availability. Student Night tickets from April 22 may be used for the first game of the Aug. 27 doubleheader or exchanged for any other Friday home game during the 2011 season. Ticket exchanges must be made by June 30.

Going back to J. Patrick's, longtime WBAL-TV sportscaster Vince Bagli played a huge role in organizing this monthly luncheon, and he's been kind enough to invite me on three occasions. A lot of local sports history walks through those doors. One of the regulars is former umpire Jim O'Connor, who once ejected Earl Weaver from a game at Memorial Stadium for arguing balls and strikes.

Don Stanhouse wouldn't throw a strike - shocking, I know - and O'Connor wasn't going to call one just to speed up the inning.

Former Baltimore Colts running back Lydell Mitchell will serve as guest speaker in June. Good luck to him. I'm a tough act to follow.

Anyway, the food and conversation are wonderful - I was privy to some great stories about Al Kaline and Brooks Robinson, just to name two - and the patrons couldn't have been warmer (same with the food.) And it's nice to know that corner neighborhood bars haven't gone the way of the dodo bird.


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