Mike Mussina (TRADING CARD DB)

June 6, 1993: Seven suspended, five injured in Orioles-Mariners brawl

This article was written by Gary Belleville

Mike Mussina (TRADING CARD DB)Baseball brawls are usually limited to some vigorous pushing and shoving. Punches may be thrown, but few connect. The donnybrook on June 6, 1993, between the Orioles and Mariners, however, was the exception to the rule, with the scene at Camden Yards more reminiscent of an NHL hockey brawl. The dust-up delayed the ballgame for 20 minutes, and when all was said and done, Chris Bosio had broken his collarbone for the second time in less than six weeks, and two of Baltimore’s star players had suffered significant injuries.

Bosio took to the hill that day attempting to salvage the series finale for the fifth-place Mariners. The 30-year-old right-hander had inked a four-year, $15 million free-agent contract the previous December, and the signing paid quick dividends for Seattle.1 Bosio’s first win in a Mariners uniform came on April 22 when he fired the second no-hitter in franchise history.2 His next start was less auspicious: He broke his collarbone in a collision with Cleveland’s Jeff Treadway, forcing him to miss over four weeks of action.3 The start against Baltimore was his second since returning from the disabled list, and he entered the game with a 2-2 record and a 2.59 ERA.

Mike Mussina (7-2, 2.89 ERA) got the start for the sixth-place Orioles. Mussina, 24, one of the best young pitchers in the game, had finished fourth in voting for the American League Cy Young Award the previous season on the strength of an 18-5 record and a sparkling 2.54 ERA.

The two hurlers kept the game scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning. Mark McLemore led off with an infield single, stole second, and moved to third on a groundball by Cal Ripken Jr. Bosio, still struggling to regain his control after his clavicle injury, uncorked a wild pitch to bring McLemore home with the game’s first run. After a walk to Harold Baines, Mike Devereaux hit a two-run homer down the left-field line to put Baltimore up 3-0.

Seattle’s regular catcher, 32-year-old Dave Valle, had started the previous 12 games, and so Bill Haselman was inserted into this game’s lineup to give Valle some well-deserved rest. Haselman took advantage of the opportunity with one out in top of the fifth inning by driving a 3-and-1 pitch from Mussina over the left-center-field wall to cut the Baltimore lead to 3-1.

In the bottom of the fifth, Bosio raised some eyebrows in the Baltimore dugout by throwing a breaking ball behind McLemore. A few of the Orioles felt that the pitch was in retaliation for Devereaux’s home run an inning earlier. The plate umpire, Durwood Merrill, saw things differently, and no warnings were issued.4 McLemore eventually struck out, and then after Ripken singled, Baines hit a two-run homer to extend the Orioles’ lead to 5-1.

Bosio upset the Orioles a second time by throwing a breaking ball behind the back of Harold Reynolds, the first batter in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Baltimore second baseman took exception to the pitch and yelled something in Bosio’s direction. Several Orioles believed that the pitch was in response to Baines’s home run, yet once again, no warnings were issued by Merrill.5

Haselman, who homered in his previous at-bat, came to the plate with two outs and the bases empty in the next half-inning. The first pitch from Mussina was a fastball that struck Haselman directly on the shoulder, and the enraged Seattle catcher immediately charged the mound, with the Orioles backstop, Jeff Tackett, in hot pursuit. Mussina dropped his glove and wrestled with Haselman until the onrushing Tackett tackled Haselman from behind, which knocked Mussina to the ground and caused the two burly catchers to land on top of him. Baltimore’s rookie first baseman, Paul Carey, arrived on the scene a split-second later, throwing a punch in Haselman’s direction. Both benches emptied and a huge dogpile quickly formed on the mound, as everyone in the bullpens sprinted toward the infield.

The scene descended into chaos with roughly 60 participants engaged in numerous scuffles around the infield. Baltimore’s bullpen coach, 52-year-old Elrod Hendricks, even squared off briefly against 25-year-old Tino Martinez. At one point, McLemore wrestled Bosio to the ground and had him in a headlock. Jay Buhner and Seattle bench coach Lee Elia were attempting to extricate Bosio when several combatants fell on top of them. “I heard a ‘pop’ and a scream from Boz,” Elia recounted in a postgame interview.6 The Mariners pitcher had fractured his collarbone again, nine days after returning from the DL.

Just as things seemed to be calming down, the fighting resumed, and more punches were thrown. Order was finally restored five minutes after Haselman got plunked, and the umpiring crew huddled to determine whom to eject. They agreed that seven players would be tossed: Haselman, Bosio, Norm Charlton, and Mackey Sasser from the Mariners, and Alan Mills, David Segui, and Rick Sutcliffe from the Orioles. Many others could easily have been ejected. “We thought they were the most combative,” reasoned Merrill. “Those were the guys who were prolonging it.”7

Upon learning that Mussina wasn’t one of the players ejected, Seattle manager Lou Piniella became incensed, insisting that the Orioles pitcher was responsible for initiating the brawl. Predictably, Piniella was tossed for aggressively arguing the point, causing him to angrily spike his cap to the ground and repeatedly kick dirt on home plate. It was his first ejection in a Mariners uniform, although it certainly wouldn’t be his last, as the fiery manager went on to be tossed a total of 28 times in his 10-year stint with the team.

The Mariners were certain that Mussina hit Haselman intentionally. “I felt Mussina would try to hit me. … But when they throw that high, you’re going to go,” Haselman said. “But he was throwing strikes all day and putting the ball where he wanted it.”8 “I can’t blame my player for going to the mound,” Piniella proclaimed. “Mussina told one of our players he was instructed to hit him.”9

Baltimore manager Johnny Oates did not deny that his pitcher was ordered to plunk Haselman. Asked about it directly, Oates barked, “I’m not talking about that. End of conversation.”10 Hendricks was a bit more forthcoming. “(Bosio) was throwing at us,” he said. “It’s ugly, but when your players are being thrown at, you have to retaliate.”11

There were no further incidents once play resumed. In the top of the eighth, Edgar Martínez’s sacrifice fly made the score 5-2, and then Gregg Olson pitched a scoreless ninth inning to give the Orioles a sweep of the three-game series.

AL President Bobby Brown suspended all seven of the ejected players, giving the starting pitchers five games, the relievers four games, and the position players three games each. All seven players were fined $1,000 apiece, while Piniella was dinged $450.

Bosio wasn’t the only player injured in the melee. Tackett suffered a black eye, and he needed a couple of stitches to close a gash on his right cheek.12 Baltimore reliever Mark Williamson also ended up with a swollen and bloody nose after being slammed face-first into the ground.13

Mussina appeared to escape unscathed, though some began to ask questions after he uncharacteristically surrendered 23 earned runs in his next four starts. Initially, he denied that he was injured in the fight. However, in late July he was placed on the disabled list, and he finally admitted in August that he had aggravated pre-existing shoulder and back injuries in the brawl.14 Mussina made six more starts that season before he was shut down in mid-September. The shoulder injury continued to plague him for almost two more years.15

One other injury went unreported after the game – one with the potential to change baseball history. During the brawl, Ripken slipped on the grass and felt a pop in his right knee, although with the adrenaline still pumping, he was able to finish the game.16 He iced the knee afterward, thinking that he had nothing more than a minor sprain. The next morning, he rolled out of bed, only to find that he couldn’t put any weight on the leg. With a game that evening, Ripken’s streak of 1,790 consecutive games played, 340 shy of Lou Gehrig’s record, was in serious jeopardy.

An MRI revealed that he had a sprained medial collateral ligament.17 Ripken underwent treatment on the knee, and as the other Orioles arrived, word started trickling out of the training room that his streak could be over. Players whispered to one another to avoid tipping off the media. After several hours of treatment, Ripken’s knee started to feel better. Although he was told that playing that night could result in further damage to the knee, he chose to have the trainer wrap it and take his chances. He played the entire game without incident, and the streak continued. Just over two years later, baseball had a new “Iron Man.”




In addition to the sources cited in the Notes, the author consulted Baseball-Reference.com and Retrosheet.org. Video of the brawl is available on YouTube at youtube.com/watch?v=eYTQE8wUuvw.



1 Chris Bosio’s contract with the Mariners also included a $250,000 signing bonus.

2 Randy Johnson threw the first no-hitter in Mariners history on June 2, 1990. Bosio’s no-hitter, against the Red Sox, was the first thrown by a Mariners right-hander.

3 Associated Press, “Seattle Victory Is Costly as Pitcher Breaks Bone,” Deseret News (Salt Lake City), April 28, 1993. deseretnews.com/article/287842/SEATTLE-VICTORY-IS-COSTLY-AS-PITCHER-BREAKS-BONE.html, accessed July 10, 2019.

4 Jim Henneman, “O’s Go Distance to KO Mariners,” Baltimore Sun, June 7, 1993. baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-1993-06-07-1993158093-story.html, accessed July 10, 2019.

5 Mark Maske, “Orioles, Mariners Brawl for 20 Minutes,” Washington Post, June 7, 1993. washingtonpost.com/archive/sports/1993/06/07/orioles-mariners-brawl-for-20-minutes/4e87b5e4-6635-46f1-a0ca-794eb8beb317/?utm_term=.6bfcc061568e, accessed July 10, 2019.

6 Journal Wire Services, “Bosio Is Hurt Again,” Milwaukee Journal, June 7, 1993: C-3.

7 Peter Schmuck, “O’s, Mariners Turn Camden Yards Into Brawlpark,” Baltimore Sun, June 7, 1993. baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-1993-06-07-1993158005-story.html, accessed July 10, 2019.

8 Maske.

9 Henneman.

10 Maske.

11 John Eisenberg, “No Room for Macho in the Win Column,” Baltimore Sun, June 7, 1993. baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-1993-06-07-1993158092-story.html, accessed July 10, 2019.

12 Maske.

13 Peter Schmuck, “O’s, Mariners Turn Camden Yards Into Brawlpark.”

14 Peter Schmuck, “Baltimore Orioles,” The Sporting News, August 23, 1993: 24.

15 Ken Rosenthal, “Stardom Hasn’t Changed Mussina,” Los Angeles Times, April 30, 1996. latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1996-04-30-sp-64334-story.html, accessed July 10, 2019.

16 John Eisenberg, The Streak: Lou Gehrig, Cal Ripken Jr., and Baseballs Most Historic Record (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017), 174.

17 Eisenberg, 175.

Additional Stats

Baltimore Orioles 5
Seattle Mariners 2

Camden Yards
Baltimore, MD


Box Score + PBP:

Corrections? Additions?

If you can help us improve this game story, contact us.