Sports stations showed the video on loop for weeks: In 1993, Robin Ventura of the Chicago White Sox charged the mound toward pitcher Nolan Ryan during a Texas Rangers baseball game in Arlington. Ventura was 20 years younger, but Ryan caught him in a headlock and punched him six times.
Those punches are infamous. Awesome. And they now have a splashy home in Deep Ellum.
On Tuesday, Dallas-area muralist Izk Davies painted a mural of the altercation on the east exterior of the bar Wits End, at the corner of Elm and Crowdus streets in Deep Ellum. It's a striking image — pun very much intended. The 10-by-10-foot painting is now completed — and ready for selfies.
DJ Edgar Blue — Davies' bandmate in the local improvisational hip-hip group CoLab — initially planned to use the space on the wall as a calendar for his old school hip-hop events at Wits End. But Davies says the two started discussing "classic Texas icon imagery" and Ryan's altercation with Ventura came up.
"I've always loved that image and wanted to make it a mural," says Davies, who already has several murals in the neighborhood. "It will be an eye-catcher."
Davies acknowledges that Rougned Odor's altercation with Jose Bautista last year is fresher in Rangers fans' minds. But he likes the feeling behind the Ryan punch, given Deep Ellum's recent efforts to step up security and keep neighbors safe.
"Nolan Ryan will punch you in the face if you rush him," the artist says. "I like the idea of defending home and not letting outsiders push us around. That's the feeling I get from it."