Chicago Cubs: Top five memorable bench-clearing incidents

Michael Barrett, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Michael Barrett, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Jim Riggleman, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: The North Siders and New York Mets have had plenty of scuffles, but this was a big one.

On May 11, 1996, the Mets and Cubs faced off in a Saturday afternoon game at old Shea Stadium. Younger fans might not remember it, but the Mets were once one of the Cubs’ most bitter rivals, and the two sides have gone at each other before. This was a brouhaha waiting to happen after Mets pitcher Pete Harnisch hit Cubs pitcher Kevin Foster in retaliation to Foster throwing a pitch up and into Todd Hundley earlier.

These chains of events got Harnisch very upset, as well as Cubs catcher Scott Servais. It all blew up in the fifth inning when Harnisch was at the plate, and Terry Adams threw behind him. As the umpire began to warn the dugouts, Harnisch and Servais started barking, and the next thing everyone knew, Harnish landed a punch on Servais, and the benches swarmed the two. The teams dog-piled on each other with Harnish and Servais pinned on the bottom as they continued to flail their arms and legs.

The pile of players migrated over towards the backstop with guys shoving each other against the wall and into the netting. Several individuals broke off into groups with at least one guy being held back by others when they wanted to keep the punches rolling.

The fight was a roller coaster as it began starting up again just when it looked like it was calming down. It took a while to get everything settled, a little over 15 minutes finally.

Harnisch and Servais have long since made up for the incident, but they have not stopped getting asked about it.