Irony in Action: A Fight on a Night Against Fights

This is the 20th anniversary of one of the strangest events in minor league baseball history. I’ve never really been sure if it’s OK to laugh about it or not.

It was May 23, 1995 when the Durham Bulls, then the Single A minor league affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, hosted “Strike Out Domestic Violence” Night. In keeping with many such events in minor league stadiums, it was designed to draw attention to the issue, provide information and raise some money.

So far so good.

But it was what happened that night that made this one of the most ironical baseball games in history.

In the third inning, Winston-Salem pitcher Jason Kummerfeldt hit Durham player John Knott. It was Kummerfeldt’s third batter hit in just three innings. Knott took offense and a bench-clearing melee broke out.

A knock down drag out battle occurred on “Strike Out Domestic Violence” Night.

The next day’s USA Today piece (below) recounted:

The 4,371 fans, many of whom were wearing stick-on badges decrying violence in the home, stood and cheered the fisticuffs in the Bulls’ snazzy new home, Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

Ten players were ejected following the brawl. Winston-Salem pitcher Glen Cullop lost several teeth and was knocked unconscious.

The fight delayed the game 32 minutes.

Oh the irony.

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