‘We gonna fight tonight’

From the Office vault: 

I have to pass along this hilarious story I heard from a friend yesterday. I believe it to be on good authority.

A lot of you probably remember the June 16, 1984 brawl ignited when Mario Soto repeatedly brushed back Claudell. Claudell tossed his bat toward the mound, went to pick it up, and then turned toward Soto with malice in mind, and rightfully so. I didn’t remember this part, but according to Wikipedia , Claudell tossed umpire Lanny Harris to the ground to reach the Reds’ combustible hurler.

I recall that Soto threw the ball at Claudell while he was being restrained, but hit Braves coach Joe Pignato instead.

All that’s pretty funny, but here’s the funnier part I just heard. That night was Ken Oberkfell’s first game as  a Brave. He’d been traded from St. Louis the day before. Rick Camp greeted Oberkfell when he arrived in the clubhouse. After pleasantries, Camp told him, in his Trion, Ga. accent, “We gonna fight tonight.”

Thinking he meant the two of them, Oberkfell asked why, as they had just met. Camp said no, there’ll be a brawl on the field because Mario Soto was pitching and “Claudell Washington hates Mario Soto.” Apparently, Camp, and presumably everyone on the Braves team, knew Soto would throw at Claudell at some point. He did, and they did fight.



13 thoughts on “‘We gonna fight tonight’

  1. Great story. Claudell was one of my favorite Braves, for all of the wrong reasons.

  2. They should have known, right then and there, that Oberkfell was too stupid to be a good Brave.

  3. seriously ,,i love the where are they know game,,and know the where abouts of alot of the braves ,,but CW,,,is a mystery,,,,what did and or is he doing in 2010,,,,any help,,,,i assume in the bay area

  4. He was one of my favorites as a kid. CW used a glove that was approximately 27 inches long.

  5. At some point around 1980 or so my cable system got The Superstation, WTBS. Growing up in the SF Bay Area I got A’s & Giants games on TV, but I seem to remember more Braves games being televised than the local teams. Never the less I was an automatic fan of Dale Murphy, Bob Horner, Skip Carey, etc. But my all time fav was Claudell Washington. Mainly because he lived down the street from me. I remember Dave Campbell saying he could over throw the Ayatollah in right field. I was watching the day he rushed Soto. CW knocked a homer in the first…then in the 3rd Soto buzzed his tower a couple times…then in the 5th, CW swung at a pitch and the bat got away from him….as he walked towards his bat, he abruptly turned and rushed Soto…the ump tried to stop him….Soto threw a ball at CW. I think it hit the Ump. Good stuff. He was awesome.

  6. In Reggie Jackson’s book that was a diary of the 1974 season, Claudell came to the big leagues as a 19 year old rookie and hit .285 swinging a 38 ounce bat. No one could believe it. Only Babe Ruth swung a 38 ounce bat, apparently.

  7. I can’t believe this sh!t. Hopefully this is just a bargaining tactic with Atlanta to try and use public outrage to change the city’s mind. But if that’s the case, it’s definitely a below-the-belt move by the Braves’ management.

  8. Was just looking at old baseball cards. Checking out my old Dale Murphy collection. Went on to telling my kids about my first ball game. The Braves playing the Reds at Fulton County stadium. It was June 16th, 1984. I was getting ready to turn 12. My uncle had season tickets about 15 rows back from the visitor dugout. This was not only my first game, it was the night Claudell came after Mario. I found the video on YouTube & showed it to my kids. I’m 42 now & will never, ever forget that game. The most memorable game of my life! I WAS THERE!

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