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Paul Konerko was in the stands for the Robin Ventura-Nolan Ryan beatdown

Mar 2, 2012, 5:03 PM EDT

Ryan Ventura

I never get tired of thinking about the Nolan Ryan-Robin Ventura fight. And now that Ventura is managing the White Sox, people are finding occasion to talk about it all again.

Over at, Chuck Garfien has a new angle on it. Seems that one of Ventura’s players — Paul Konerko — was at the game.  He was in the stands with his U.S. Junior Olympic baseball team. In fact, they met Ventura before the game when Ventura offered them inspirational words about sportsmanship and stuff.

So of course seeing him charge the mound in blind fury a couple hours later had an impression:

Did seeing Ventura go after one of the best, most respected players in the game change his opinion of him?

Nope. The opposite.

“That made me think nothing less of him, only more because anybody who’s going to charge Nolan Ryan, you gotta have…”

Konerko paused for a few seconds, trying to find the right word he can use on family television. Then one popped in his head.

“You gotta have some guts let’s just put it that way.”

I’m glad he corrected himself. Because you can’t say “balls” on Comcast/NBC-affiliated outlets.

  1. nategearhart - Mar 2, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    If Ventura wasn’t managing CHI, or Konerko played for TEX, his answer might have been different. maybe.

  2. cur68 - Mar 2, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    One of my favourite YouTube videos is of that fight. I dunno about “balls” being allowable, but “gettin’ pounded” is another good couple words that are allowable and apropo in that situation.

  3. ezthinking - Mar 2, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    It’s really a weak beatdown, Mickey Hatcher is the only one with damage. It is quite funny to see Bo Jackson move the pile in the secondary squabble.

  4. firstandonlywarning - Mar 2, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    58 Game hitting streak in college and yet the mention of Robin Ventura almost always reminds us of a beatdown he foolishly took.

    • The Wizard - Mar 2, 2012 at 11:34 PM

      About that “beatdown”:

      After Ventura charged the mound, Ryan got him into a headlock and landed 5 or so jabs on Ventura (0:10-0:13).

      HOWEVER, afterwards Ventura got out of the headlock, wrapped his hands around Ryan’s neck, and brought Ryan down:

      [since I can’t post picture here I put them at]

  5. Mark Armour - Mar 2, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    Everytime I view the video, I wonder where the meme started that says Konerko got pounded. He was grabbed by the catcher first, allowing Ryan a few weak slaps at him, but the picture does not really represent the actual fight in my view.

    • Lucas - Mar 3, 2012 at 1:24 AM

      Did you SEE the fight when it really happened? I vividly remember it, and Ryan owned Ventura (not Konerko). It was funny as hell.

    • cur68 - Mar 3, 2012 at 10:57 AM

      Wasn’t Konerko a kid in the stands? You ‘sinuatin’ Nolan Ryan went into the stands and pummeled young Paul Konerko? Never saw that on YouTube. Anyhow, “a few weak slaps” from Nolan Ryan at that time is probably like a full on hay maker form me: the man threw over 100mph. If he unleashed the full might of his Ryan-Osity he’d have cracked “Konerko’s” head like a chubby kid cracks chocolate Easter eggs.

  6. Walk - Mar 2, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    As i recall the young mr ventura charged the 44 year old ryan who proceeded to apply a grade school noogie beatdown. No he did not hit ventura hard but it was embarassing which served the purpose. Nolan could have just held him and because of the age difference i would have considered it a win for nolan but the noogie delivered by an older player to a young player was hilarious and a very pointed move. It points out how juvenille they were, maybe it was intentional or maybe not, i do not know,but it was FUNNY.

  7. brianbosworthisstonecold - Mar 3, 2012 at 4:48 AM

    I’ll bet Konerko was in the best shape of his life.

  8. addict2sport - Mar 3, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    Ventura didn’t take Ryan down, the rugby style scrum did. Doenst matter. Nolan had already schooled the young fella at that point. Even the shady hometown judge would’ve given Ryan the majority decision in that bout.

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