Baseball is not a contact sport. Until it is. For more than 100 years, MLB has experienced rare, but memorable brawls, triggered by beanings, dangerous slides and general disrespect. On Sunday, the Rangers-Blue Jays fight, initiated by a Rougned Odor punch on Jose Bautista (among other triggers), made its way to this list.
Of course, only certain brawls have withstood the test of the time and preserved video from the affairs. This list is what can be gathered based on resources, reputation and historical significance.
18. Cardinals-Reds (2010)
On the previous night, Brandon Phillips called the Cardinals "little bitches." Before Phillips could even lead off the bottom of the first for the Reds, St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina got in Phillips' face. The benches cleared, and Tony La Russa and Dusty Baker scowled at each other. The fight moved up against the backstop, and Jason LaRue ended up with a concussion.
17. Tigers-Red Sox (2009)
If there is a textbook way for a player to charge the mound, consider Kevin Youkilis' move here. Youk, without hesitation, attacks Rick Porcello, throws his helmet, and then tackles Porcello like a defensive tackle snuffing out a running back behind the line of scrimmage. Of course, now, Porcello is a pitcher for the Red Sox, and Youkilis is retired.
16. Dodgers-Angels (1999)
Chan Ho Park took cleating to a whole other level in an interleague matchup between SoCal rivals. He thought Belcher's tag and hold of his fellow pitcher was a bit excessive, and Park shoved Belcher in the face. He then attempts to drop kick the Anaheim pitcher.
15. Dodgers-Diamondbacks (2013)
The National League brings certain brawls upon itself by allowing pitchers to bat. In this game, Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig was hit, triggering a retaliation by pitcher Zach Greinke on D-Backs catcher Miguel Montero. Arizona countered with pitcher Ian Kennedy hitting Greinke in the head. This fight is perhaps best remembered for coaches Mark McGwire (Dodgers) and Matt Williams (Diamondbacks) getting in each other's faces. McGwire was suspended two games.
14. Dodgers-Padres (2013)
Remember, Greinke broke his collarbone trying to hip check Carlos Quentin earlier that same season.
13. Yankees-Red Sox (1976)
Believe it or not, Lou Piniella put himself in the middle of controversy. Then an outfielder for the Yankees, Sweet Lou attempted to bulldoze Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk at the plate (Fisk held onto the ball). Piniella and Fisk proceeded to wrestle and the benches cleared. But it was Bosox pitcher Bill Lee, who became the victim of the fight. A villain to the Yankees -- he once called the team a "bunch of hookers swinging their purses" -- Lee was punched by Mickey Rivers and slammed to the ground by Graig Nettles. He was put on the disabled list with a shoulder injury.
12. Red Sox-White Sox (1993)
Red Sox pitcher Aaron Sele came at George Bell twice, and the second time triggered a charge of the mound. But as Bell threw his punch, Sele ducked. Unbeknownst to Bell, Red Sox first baseman Mo Vaughn came charging in like an outside linebacker. The notably heavy Vaughn knocked Bell to the ground, and no one on the White Sox made much of an effort to trade blows with Vaughn.
11. Red Sox-Yankees (2004)
Varitek is one of the most beloved Red Sox of all time, and perhaps his trademark moment came in the summer of 2004. One year after the Pedro Martinez-Don Zimmer fight (see below) and a few months after the Red Sox missed out on Alex Rodriguez to the Yankees, Boston pitcher Bronson Arroyo clonked A-Rod. Varitek got in Rodriguez's face, to which A-Rod is seen to say, "F*** you." Varitek then punched Rodriguez and the benches cleared. The Red Sox named Varitek team captain after the season.
10. Expos-Phillies (1996)
For some reason, this brawl does not get as much love as it should. A 24-year-old Pedro Martinez beaned Gregg Jefferies, which resulted in Phillies pitcher Mike Williams throwing at Martinez until the Expo was hit by a pitch. Martinez charged the mound and slung his helmet at Williams' head. When Martinez was inducted into Cooperstown last summer, he should have gone in with his Expos helmet half off rather than a Red Sox hat.
9. Cubs-White Sox (2006)
It is hard to believe this Windy City brawl was 10 years ago now. A.J. Pierzynski barreled into Cubs catcher Michael Barrett on a sacrifice fly. Then Pierzynski emphatically slapped home plate with his hand to emphasize that he was safe and bumped Barrett, who responded by landing a right. Barrett got a 10-game suspension, but earned his place in Cubs lore for eternity. Pierzynski still gets boos at Wrigley Field. As for this game, the defending world champion White Sox won, 7-0.
8. Reds-Mets (1973)
Mets shortstop Bud Harrelson made himself a target for the Reds. After Mets starter Jon Matlack two-hit Cincinnati in Game 2 of the NLCS, Harrelson said, "He made the Big Red Machine look like me hitting today." Harrelson was making fun of himself, as well, but as the story goes, Cincinnati second baseman Joe Morgan met told Harrelson before Game 3 that the Reds, especially Pete Rose, was angry at him. In Jose Bautista-fashion, Rose went in hard at Harrelson at second base, trying to break up a double play in the fifth inning. Harrelson felt Charlie Hustle's slide was unnecessary and the benches cleared. When Rose went back into the field the next inning, Mets fans threw so much garbage at him that the Reds actually left the field until Mets veterans, including Willie Mays and Tom Seaver, tamed the crowd.
7. Yankees-Orioles (1998)
The Bronx Bombers won a then-AL record 114 wins this season, and two days before this brawl David Wells threw a perfect game against the Twins. The Orioles, who lost in the ALCS in 1996 and 1997, were starting 14 straight losing seasons with no postseason berths. On this night, Armando Benitez blew an Orioles lead in the eighth inning, giving up Bernie Williams' three-run home run with two outs. He then clocked the next batter, Tino Martinez, in the back. Three years earlier, Benitez has done the same thing to Martinez, then with the Mariners, after an Edgar Martinez grand slam. The Yankees trudged out of the bench and a scuffle broke out that led the teams into the Orioles' dugout. New York reliever Graeme Lloyd threw haymakers at Benitez. Scott Brosius looked like he was ready for taekwondo. Darryl Strawberry was depicted as the Yankees' hero, getting in the punch that sent Benitez into the dugout. Benitez was suspended eight games and was traded to the Mets after the season and faced the Yankees again as a closer during the 2000 World Series. Benitez also spent a brief time with the Yankees, appearing in nine games in 2003.
6. Dodgers-Giants (1965)
This brawl gets its reputation because of the marquee names involved and use of a bat. After Giants pitcher Juan Marichal hit two Dodgers, Sandy Koufax threw near the head of Willie Mays. When Marichal came up to bat soon after, he thought Dodgers catcher Johnny Roseboro was throwing balls back to Koufax dangerously close to his head. Marichal hit Roseboro with his bat and the benches emptied. Koufax and Mays, two of the game's great ambassadors for the past half century-plus, stepped in to calm the situation.
5. Rangers-Blue Jays (2016)
The latest edition to this list cracks the top five. Last October, Bautista hit a three-run home run that lifted Toronto past Texas in Game 5 of the ALDS. Seven months later, the Rangers hit Bautista at Globe Life Park. Bautista then committed a hard slide into second base that forced an errant throw from Rougned Odor. Odor took Bautista's play as late and dangerous. He then landed a clean punch on Bautista. The fight is not that great in terms of scale, but the one punch may be the cleanest punch is baseball brawl history.
4. Tigers-A's (1972)
Can you imagine this happening today? Oakland's Bert Campaneris got hit by a low pitch from Detroit's Lerrin LaGrow in Game 2 of the ALCS. Campaneris then slung his bat at LaGrow, all the way from the batter's box, narrowly missing a ducking LaGrow. Tigers manager Billy Martin had to restrained from attacking Campaneris. Campaneris was suspended for the rest of the series and the first seven games of the 1973 season, but he was able to play in the 1972 World Series, the first of Oakland's three straight titles. Campaneris played for Martin with the Yankees in 1983.
3. Braves-Padres (1984)
This was not a bloody day, but an exhausting one. Braves pitcher Pascual Perez hit Padres leadoff hitter Alan Wiggins, which set the tone for chaos. When Perez came to bat in the second, Padres starter Ed Whitson came inside, starting fight number one. The Padres threw at Perez the rest of the day, in all four of his at-bats. Benches cleared in the fifth, eighth and ninth innings. The eighth featured the day's trademark melee when Perez was hit by Craig Lefferts. Somehow, Perez still tossed a gem, giving up just five hits and one run in eight innings.
2. Rangers-White Sox (1993)
Nolan Ryan ended his career with a bang. A 26-year-old named Robin Ventura (who was born after Ryan's MLB debut) charged Ryan, 46, after being hit by a pitch. Rather than step back, Ryan stepped up, put Ventura in a headlock, and threw uppercuts at Ventura's face. Ventura was ejected, but Ryan was permitted to stay in. He gave up three hits in seven innings. The outing was one of Ryan's best of the season -- his last year in the bigs -- and Ventura was the only batter he hit in 13 games played. Ventura is now the manager of the White Sox.
1. Yankees-Red Sox (2003)
In the 2003 ALCS, the two Yankee catalysts for the brawl were Roger Clemens, a three-time Cy Young Award winner with the Red Sox, and bench coach Don Zimmer, a former manager for the Red Sox. On top of that, superstars like Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez and Derek Jeter were entrenched in the rivalry for multiple seasons by 2003. In this particular year, the Yankees and Red Sox met 26 times, including seven postseason games, the most ever by two opponents.
In Game 3 at Fenway Park, Martinez drilled Karim Garcia in the back in the top of the fourth inning. Both benches cleared, but no punches were thrown. In the bottom of the inning, Clemens gave Ramirez chin music. The benches cleared again, but this time, when Zimmer, 72, charged Martinez, the pitcher threw Zimmer to the ground. An important note about this incident is that Martinez did not even get suspended. He pitched seven innings.
In the ninth inning, Yankees reliever Jeff Nelson and Garcia got in a fight with a Fenway Park groundskeeper in the New York bullpen. The Yankees won the series on Aaron Boone's Game 7 walk-off home run, but the Red Sox beat the Yankees in seven games in the 2004 ALCS.
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.