36 years ago today: MVP Andre Dawson, Rick Sutcliffe throw down with Padres in Wrigley Field brawl originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The 1987 Cubs were far from a memorable team, squandering high expectations held prior to the season before finishing in last place in the National League East with a 76-85 record, despite having the NL MVP on their team.
36 years ago today on a Tuesday afternoon, the Confines lost their friendliness on the field when eventual league MVP Andre Dawson was hit by a pitch from San Diego Padres starter Eric Show high and inside after homering in his previous at-bat.
As Dawson laid on the ground visibly shaken up from being struck, Cubs’ ace and clubhouse leader Rick Sutcliffe took exception to the plunking, sparking a bench-clearing brawl between the two teams, much to the delight of the Wrigley Field crowd.
Sutcliffe immediately left the dugout and went after Show, getting in a few shoves before being separated from the San Diego starter.
Commotion between the two sides continued and seemed to die down as Dawson remained on the ground as athletic trainers tended to him.
Suddenly, a switch flipped and Hawk shot up, racing towards Show in a drive for revenge, leading the brawl to escalate once again.
Dawson, appearing to stumble in his sprint, made contact with an umpire while shoveling through the crowd of players in search of Show.
As the physicality picked back up and began to move towards the Padres dugout, Show was quickly escorted into the visiting clubhouse by an umpire.
As for the game itself, the Cubs would go on to win 7-5, with homers from Paul Noce and Dave Martinez adding to Dawson’s long ball.
Despite the Cubs’ last-place finish in 1987, Dawson won the NL MVP thanks to 49 home runs and 137 RBI, both marks leading all of MLB.
Rick Sutcliffe also delivered an excellent season, compiling an 18-10 with a 3.68 ERA, tossing six complete games to go along with 174 strikeouts in 237.1 innings of work.