1980: Marshmallow Wars

April 25, 1980

Billy Martin had a long history in Minnesota, but by 1980 he was a decade removed from official ties with the organization. Martin had a lot of success since as a manager, but the same controversy that forced him out of Minnesota after the 1969 season continued to follow him. In the fall of 1979, Martin got into a much publicized fight with a marshmallow salesman at a Minneapolis hotel bar, apparently simply as a matter of a wager over who could beat whom up.

Though Martin reportedly won the fight, he lost his job with the Yankees. Martin was relocated to Oakland as manager of the A’s, a team that came in to Met Stadium in late April of 1980.

As part of the homecoming celebration, some Twins’ fans threw marshmallows in Martin’s direction. Martin, apparently not seeing the humor in the situation, went (according to Patrick Reusse) “bonkers” and threatened to charge into the stands.

Later in the season, the Seattle Mariners requested permission from major league baseball to drop a giant marshmallow from the Kingdome ceiling in order to “honor” Martin. The request was denied, presumably because the league felt that Martin would lose in a fight with the Kingdome.

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