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TBT: Juan Marichal attacks John Roseboro with a bat

Aug 22, 2013, 12:08 PM PDT


The bad blood between the Giants and Dodgers hit a boiling point on this day in 1965, after Giants pitcher Juan Marichal hit Dodgers catcher John Roseboro with a bat.

The incident sparked a 14-minute brawl between the rival teams.

The attack became the most memorable moment in a heated competition for the National League pennant. It all happened in the third inning with Marichal at the plate facing Sandy Koufax. The Dodgers’ pitcher was instructed to plunk San Francisco’s starter as retaliation for a few brush back pitches that happened earlier in the game. Knowing that it wasn’t Koufax’s style to bean a batter intentionally, Roseboro decided to do the dirty work. When throwing the ball back to Koufax, he intentionally buzzed Marichal’s tower.

“He threw a ball so close it tipped my ear,” Marichal told Bob Costas during a sit-down interview for

In front of a crowd of 42,807 fans in San Francisco, Marichal used the bat to exact revenge. Leonard Koppett documented the fight that day for the New York Times.

Marichal’s bat hit Roseboro on the top of the head at least twice and opened a two-inch cut that bled profusely.

In a sign of how different times were in 1965, Marichal was suspended just nine days and fined $1,750. The Giants ended up winning the game 4-3.


Even after being the focal point of one of the ugliest moments in baseball history, Marichal and Roseboro went on to become good friends. Roseboro even helped campaign for Marichal to get into the Hall of Fame. The two rivals would later appear together at several charity events.

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