Flashback Friday: George Bell Karate Kicks Bruce Kison

Typically, baseball is not a contact sport. In fact, it’s the furthest thing from it. Aside from the occasional play at the plate or a takeout slide at second, baseball players remain relatively unscathed.

But every once in a while, there is in fact contact in baseball. And when it happens, more often than not … it’s not only controversial, but it’s also entertaining.

The Blue Jays have been in their fair share of basebrawls over the years, but none perhaps more memorable than one instigated by George Bell.


For this week’s Flashback Friday, we take a look back at George Bell”s karate kick of Bruce Kison.

The event in question happened on June 23rd 1985 against the Boston Red Sox at Exhibition Stadium. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find much dirt on the event, but the brief and grainy video below will tell you everything you need to know.

If you feel like watching replay over and over, check out this isolated GIF of the karate kick itself. While the quality isn’t great, the hilarity level is still up there.

Obviously, Bell didn’t take too kindly to being plunked by the Red Sox starter, and dropped his bat and charged the mound barreling towards Kison. I have to give Bruce credit, as he didn’t even flinch as all 190 pounds of Bell came barreling towards him.

Rather than tackling him or even attempting to land a punch, George Bell’s first instinct was to leap into the air and kick Bruce Kison in the midsection. Apparently he also landed a few haymakers on Red Sox catcher Rich Gedman as well.

George Bell was suspended all of two games for this actions, and not surprisingly he didn’t appeal the suspension. Two games seems like a slap on the wrist considering Bell landed a kick and a few punches on the opposition. One could only imagine how long a suspension that would garner today.

Although Bell was ejected from the game following his actions, the tension continued throughout the game between the Red Sox and Blue Jays. The penultimate moment being Ernie Whitt’s grand slam in the bottom of the 6th off Bruce Kison.

Whitt was clearly seen barking at Kison as he rounded the bases, as evidenced by this video below.


There’s no denying George Bell was a very outspoken player during his tenure with the Toronto Blue Jays. Bell often wore his emotions on his sleeve … and apparently his foot as well.

Image via Mop Up Duty

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

9 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: George Bell Karate Kicks Bruce Kison

  • April 19, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    I remember George drop kicking Kison. George tends to get a bad rap from time-to-time but I'd have him on my team any day of the week. Too bad there isn't better video of this in the archives. It was certainly replayed on the TeeVee enough times. And Ernie's home run was the icing on that cake.

    • April 19, 2013 at 9:21 pm

      He may not have been a manager's dream player, but the talent level was so high that I'd take any quirks just to have him on my team.

  • April 19, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    The best. George Bell was absolutely the best. What a maniac!

    • April 19, 2013 at 9:21 pm

      George Bell – an endless source of entertainment … and karate kicks!

  • April 20, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Love this… We could use a karate kick to the head this season I think.

    JPA is getting a lot of early season love so I just took a look at his overall rates/stats to see if he has actually "improved" under Mattola like Buck/Pat want us to believe. Click my name if you want to read on. Results aren't pretty IMO.

  • April 20, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    George Bell was my favorite player as a kid.. obviously.

  • July 29, 2013 at 5:25 am

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  • June 25, 2016 at 1:04 am

    I was 11 years old and in attendance down the right field line at this game with my dad. I think we were sitting on those horrible bench seats. As awesome as the mound charge was, my favorite part was after the brawl ended. George trotted down to first base as if he didn’t think he had been ejected and threw his arms up in disbelief when the first base umpire told him that he in fact had been ejected for dropkicking Kison and clocking Marty Barrett a couple of times. Cajones.

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