August 5th, 1960 - The one-year anniversary of Martin getting beaned in the face as a Cleveland Indian by Senator pitcher Tex Clevenger’s fastball, Martin had seven facial bones broken, but declared it an accident and forgave Clevenger for the incident. On the anniversary the Reds are in Chicago playing the Cubs and the Senators are also in town to take on the White Sox in the evening.
Several of the Senator players visited the Reds clubhouse prior to the contest and engaged Billy Martin in a conversation, Billy felt that he was being crowded in the National League (The Dodgers in retaliation for a Roger Craig collision had beaned Vada Pinson three times since the incident causing the Reds to be somewhat on edge.) According Senator pitcher Hal Woodeshick Martin was “fed up with getting knocked on his ass every time up.”
And then he swore, “Someone’s going to pay.”
On the mound that day for the Cubs was 22-year-old Jim Brewer, a rookie making his fourth start of his career. After walking Martin to lead off the game Brewer gave up 3 hits and allowed 2 runs. In the second inning he got two quick outs and Martin stepped to the plate. The first pitch was high and tight and Martin acted as if he had been struck in the helmet and took off for first, the ruse didn’t take and he was ordered back into the box. Brewer threw the 1-0 pitch and Martin took a half swing and his bat skittered out towards the mound landing ten feet to the right of the rubber.
Martin said it “Slipped” from there he walked out to the mound to retrieve his bat. In his hearing with Warren Giles he claimed that Brewer was “mouthing off and that if he had kept his mouth shut nothing would have happened. Brewer admitted he asked if Martin wanted to fight. Martin’s reply was “No, I’m out here to get my bat, kid.”
It was then that Martin attacked Brewer with a surprise right, fracturing his cheekbone and orbital, starting a general ruckus that featured an angry Brewer stalking the field with a broken bat in his hand.In the aftermath it was obvious the culture of the game was going to point to the pitcher vs. the hitter aspect of this fight. The Sporting News ran stories about Martins 1959 beaning, and even printed a letter to the editor about “The Carl May’s Pitch” from former Major Leaguer Dummy Hoy. The general consensus was that the batter was at the mercy of the headhunters.
Martin gave his final word on the matter, “Nobody, and I mean nobody is going to throw at my head, they can hit me anyplace else, but not in the head.”