ARLINGTON -- To call Opening Day's meeting between the Rangers and White Sox a rematch for Nolan Ryan and Robin Ventura is a stretch at best, and fiction at worst.
Now that Ventura has been hired as Chicago's manager, his club will square off with the Rangers team that Ryan runs on April 6, 2012, at the Ballpark in Arlington. Ventura was in a Chicago uniform on Aug. 4, 1993, when he charged Ryan at Arlington Stadium.
What ensued was one of baseball's most famous fights, but Ryan isn't sure why it's still in the public's consciousness nearly 20 years later.
"You know, I'm truly surprised by that," said Ryan, the Rangers' president and CEO, after Game 2 of the American League Championship Series against Detroit was rained out Sunday. "I'm really happy for Robin, that he's getting that opportunity [to manage]. It should be with the White Sox. I think he's the type of person that you want to see in that position, because I think he's good for baseball, and he knows the game. And he played the game the right way. So I'm happy to see him in that position.
"But I am, I'm surprised that this thing has had the life that it's had."
Ventura was 26 and Ryan was 46 at the time the latter hit the former with a pitch. Ventura charged the mound, and Ryan put him in a headlock while delivering repeated punches. The Rangers won the game, 5-2.