#TBT VIDEO: Cards-Cubs Brawl At Busch (And I Was There)

Greg Hewitt
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Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

(Credit: Emily Lucarz Photography) Greg Hewitt
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Granted, I was a young kid at the time, but I’ll never forget this game at Busch Stadium back in the day.

There are a couple of things about the video below that you need to know:

It’s actually a “tribute” to the great former Cardinals catcher Ted Simmons, who was one of the few bright spots of the team during the 70’s, a decade which marked the end of the line for the likes of  future Hall of Famers, Bob Gibson and Lou Brock.

It was as if everyone who contributed to all of those pennants and titles in the 60’s all got old at the same time.  It wasn’t pleasant to watch.

Current fans of the team are spoiled in a sense.  Maybe a nicer way to say it is that we’ve become accustomed to winning.

No, we’re spoiled.

Those under the age of 30 especially, have no idea just how bad it was.  It was as if we channeled the Cubs for an entire decade!

You think decent tickets are hard to come by these days?

Back in the 70’s, you had your run of Busch Stadium anytime after the 4th or 5th inning.  There were many a Sunday afternoon where my buddies and I would end up directly behind the visitor’s dugout, shouting insults at the likes of “The Big Red Machine” (Reds) or “The Lumber Company” (Pirates).

But the Cubs were our favorite target.

This video starts with one of those Cards-Cubs classic battles.  The date was September 22, 1974, and oddly enough, the Cards were actually contending for a division championship, a rarity as we’ve established during this time period.

As usual, the Cubs were laboring at the bottom of the division and none too pleased about it.  Things got a little tense when Cardinal relief pitcher (and current TV commentator) Al Hrabosky and Cubs infielder Bill Madlock decided they’d had enough of each other.

From a terrific article detailing the incident:

“Bill Madlock was up, and just as Hrabosky was set to pitch, Madlock returned to the on-deck circle to put pine tar on his bat. He came back to the plate smiling, thinking he had upset Hrabosky’s concentration.  When Madlock was ready, Hrabosky walked behind the mound to do his routine again. But when Hrabosky went back to the rubber, Madlock returned to the on-deck circle, bent on winning the battle of wills.”

The result?

Pure mayhem.

At one point you actually had TWO Cubs trying to bat at the same time!

Focus on Simmons, who after pushing Madlock away, gets destroyed by a Cubs player flying into the fray.

And I was there, seated directly behind the Cubs dugout!

“Madlock you BUM!”

(WARNING: This is the feed from the Cubs broadcast.  I’m sure Jay Randolph had a different take)

 

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