Dec. 18, 1959 Gabe Paul smiles as well traveled ballplayer Billy Martin signs his 1960 contract to play for the Reds.
Cincinnati Reds; manager Fred Hutchinson hoped Martin could instill some fight into his team. Although he could not make the Reds a winner with his diminished skills, he still was a battler on the field, notoriously fighting pitcher Jim Brewer of the Chicago Cubs on August 4, 1960.
In the aftermath of his beaning by Clevenger, teams pitched Martin inside, as did Brewer. After one such pitch, Martin, on the next, swung and let his bat go, though it landed far from the pitching mound. When he went out to retrieve it, Brewer approached, Martin swung at him, and sometime during the brawl, a punch broke Brewer’s orbital bone, though whether it was Martin who did it or Reds pitcher Cal McLish is uncertain. Martin was ejected (his sixth and final ejection as a player), and was suspended for five games and fined by National League president Warren Giles. With Brewer out for the season, the Cubs sued Martin.
Litigation dragged on for a decade and the case was eventually settled in 1969 for $10,000 plus $12,000 attorney’s fees. Martin, who in the press defended his actions as justified given pitchers threw inside to him, asked, “Do they want a check or cash?”
Although Martin played 103 games for the Reds in 1960, batting .246, he had only three home runs and 16 runs batted in, and following the season was sold to the Milwaukee Braves.