In honor of Dontrelle Willis beaning a player for the 21st time in the WBC yesterday, I present 9 of the best mound charges in the history of color television (according to Sports Center). [There haven't been any WBC mound charges that I can think of but, to be honest, I just needed an excuse to show this to you.]
The first incidence of a professional charging the mound has not been identified but the practice dates back to the game’s early days when men were men and thugs were heroes. Can you imagine the great mound charges there must have been?! I’m a little misty-eyed that film was being wasted on Birth of a Nation instead of these revolutionary moments of sport.
In any case, charging the mound is often the precipitating event of a bench-clearing brawl – a happening that leaves some men in wrapped up in the headlocks while others just hop around the outer edges looking silly and somewhat disappointed (not that I can blame them). If I ever caught myself on the outside of a brawl, I’d try to sneak in and bite a few ankles – otherwise, it’s a pointless excercise and you may as well go back to the dugout and wait it out.
I think it’s time for batters to become a little smarter about charging the pitcher’s mound. Though it’s sometimes done in the heat of the moment, some of these clips show that the batter clearly thought about it, weighed the consequences, and then went all battering ram anyway. So if you know you’re about to be thrown out and possibly suspended, why not wise up?
Take your beaning, and then, after a deep breath, stroll to first base. Be careful – don’t start bumping your gums to the pitcher – you don’t want to tip anyone off. When you reach first, strike up a conversation with the first baseman and have a brief laugh. He’s likely stupid and easily distracted. Then, when the pitcher is winding up to deliver to the next batter, channel the rage, and go Bobby Bouchet all over the pitcher. The third baseman’s view should be obscured by the hurler’s tall presence on the mound and the short stop is, hopefully, playing back. Since the pitcher won’t see you coming, the only person that is likely to stop you is the second baseman, who, we all know, isn’t much of a physical presence anyway. What, you’re afraid that Alfonso Soriano or Marcus Giles might try to take you out? Don’t be such a fucking chump.
This strategy enables one to get his licks in before the bench (who thinks they’re helping your cause) clears and ruins everything. I hope to see it in major league play soon.