OCTOBER 28, 1979
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
– After getting into a fight with a marshmallow salesman Billy Martin was fired as manager of the New York Yankees for the second time on this date in 1979. He would be re-hired and re-fired three more times by Yankee owner George Steinbrenner before his managerial career ended.
That wasn’t Martin’s only fight. He had several well-publicized altercations.
During his playing days with the Yankees in 1957 there was a much publicized brawl at the Copacabana Nightclub in
Manhattan involving several other Yankees. Martin was soon gone from the Yankees for being a bad influence. He charged the mound at Wrigley Field in
Chicago one day in 1960 while playing for the Cincinnati Reds thinking Cub pitcher Jim Brewer was throwing at him. Brewer ended up in the hospital with a broken cheekbone. He also had fights with, among others, Jimmy Piersall, Tommy Lasorda, Dave Boswell, and he had to be held back from getting into a fight with Reggie Jackson.
Billy Martin while managing the Oakland A's
Martin showed brilliance as a manager. In 16 seasons he won 5 division championships, two pennants and one World Series, but his erratic behavior – fueled mostly by drinking too much – didn’t keep him at the helm of any team very long. He managed in five different cities, and had five different stints with the Yankees.