Ten Cent Beer Night

17 Aug

I started this “blog a day” thing off on the right foot, by posting my blogs at the earliest possible moment, which gave me a nice cushion to fall back on if I was falling behind.  Somewhere down the line I did in fact fall behind and I’ve been posting closer and closer to the deadline.  Today I mean to get back on track.  It is now 5:09 am, and I’ve decided to relate yet another….brace yourselves…SPORTS STORY!!!  (You didn’t see that coming did you?)

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I promise this will be the last such tale.  I definitely do not want my blog to turn into a “Sports Blog” especially since I’ve mentioned, on countless occasions, that I really don’t have much use for sports.  What I do enjoy, however, are scandals and funny incidents, and such things happen in the Sporting World all the time.  Recently I was floating around on the Internet, watching random YouTube videos, reading random Wikipedia articles, downloading porn pictures of cute kittens, and somehow happened across an article about a baseball incident, which I’d never heard about before, that had me literally crying with laughter.

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It took place on June 4th, 1974, in Cleveland Ohio.  The Cleveland Indians, at that time, sucked.  They sucked really REALLY bad.  A couple weeks prior to the incident I’m going to tell you about, they had been in Texas, playing a team called the Rangers, which was at that time managed by a notorious loudmouth named Billy Martin.  (He also happened to be one goofy looking motherfucker, which may have had something to do with why he was such a loudmouth.)

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The Indians, to nobody’s great surprise got trounced badly, and the game ended with both teams emptying onto the field to engage in a gigantic brawl.  Thus a heated rivalry had begun between the two teams.  The Rangers were to play in Cleveland in a little while, and when someone asked Billy Martin if he had any concerns about the fans there he said something like “What fans?”

This statement would go down in baseball history as one of THE dumbest things ever said.  Promoters in Cleveland hooked onto it, and not wanting to be shown up by an upstart like Billy Martin, they came up with a brilliant idea.  They called it “Ten Cent Beer Night” and it was exactly what it sounds like.  For ten cents, fans could purchase a 12 oz cup of beer.  (Even in 1974 ten cents wasn’t a lot of money.)  Before you jump to the conclusion that this was a really bad idea right from the start, I want to point out some major precautions were taken.  A fan was only allowed to purchase a mere SIX of these beers at one time.  (Though there was no limit to the number of times they could go up and buy an additional SIX cups of beer.)

Cleveland Municipal Stadium had a capacity of about 30,000, but the Indians had been performing so badly that year, the stands generally only had about 8000, and that was if the weather was nice.  Ten Cent Beer Night brought in a record 25,134 fans, and quite a few of them didn’t give a damn about baseball.  On that particular evening, it was WAY cheaper to go to a baseball game to get drunk than to go to the bar.  Or for that matter, probably even to drink at home.  (Hell, even I would go sit through an entire baseball game if it meant I could practically drink for free!)

The crowd was loud and unruly before the game even started.  During the 2nd inning the first streaker took to the field.  A fat sweaty cop made a feeble attempt to catch him, but failed and the naked man traversed the field and disappeared back into the inebriated crowd.

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A little while later there was another streaking attempt, but by then somebody must have realized the potential for trouble a completely drunken stadium full of people could cause and had the foresight to summon additional police.  The second streaker was subdued and removed from the premises.

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At any given time during the game, there were more drunken fans on the field than players.  A woman ran out and flashed her breasts.  A father and son pair made their way into the outfield and mooned the crowd, to the delight of the cheering, intoxicated stadium.  (Nobody really seemed to be paying much attention to the game which was, as usual, going very badly for the Indians.)

Meanwhile the hapless Rangers, though winning at baseball, were losing at life.  Not only were they being jeered and heckled relentlessly, they were being rained down on with a constant barrage of hot dogs, spit, beer cups both empty and full, and someone was almost struck in the head with an empty glass gallon of something called Thunderbird.

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The crowd grew more and more restless.  At some point someone managed to throw a package of lit firecrackers into the Rangers’ dugout!  (For the record, that’s no way to treat a visiting sports team,no matter how much you despise them.)

And then, in the bottom of the 9th inning, a miracle happened.  The Cleveland Indians somehow managed to rally back from a huge deficit, and tied the game 5-5.  If they could get one more run, they would win the game and Ten Cent Beer Night, despite all of its flaws, could actually be marked down as a successful (albeit hilarious) venture in marketing strategy.

But alas it was not to be.  Some drunken fool sprinted across the field and made a grab at the hat of the Rangers’ pitcher.  The pitcher, in attempting to save his hat, tripped and fell, which Billy Martin interpreted as a physical attack by the fan.  He and his players took to the field, some of them wielding baseball bats, with the intention of protecting their pitcher.

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And that was when all hell broke loose.  The wildly inebriated crowd, which had been guzzling cheap beer at this point for approximately 3 hours, literally surged onto the field in one giant, drunken completely uncontrollable mass of angry humanity.  Some of them were armed with chains, broken bottles, and chunks of the metal stands they had torn away from their moorings.

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The most heartwarming part of this story, to me, is that now the Cleveland Indians, realizing their opponents were in serious possibly life threatening danger, now set aside their baseball differences and hurried out onto the field, armed with baseball bats, to protect the Rangers!  It was now baseball player vs. baseball fan as the two teams literally had to fight their way through drunk angry fans and out of the stadium.

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The game was forfeited to the Rangers.  The stadium was literally torn apart.  The bases were stolen from the field (and never recovered) and it’s very likely that not much profit could have been made from the sale of beer.

If shit like this happened more often, I might actually consider becoming a sports fan.

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11 Responses to “Ten Cent Beer Night”

  1. NotAPunkRocker August 17, 2015 at 1:15 pm #

    If only Major League II had used this story to come up with a decent plot! 😀

    • domingosaurus August 17, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

      I would LOVE to see a cinematic version of this event. Why hasn’t that happened? It could be hilarious.

      • domingosaurus August 17, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

        And yeah. Major League 2. Yikes.

  2. Paul S August 18, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

    I really enjoyed reading this. It brought back memories of the English football stadiums of my youth!

    • domingosaurus August 18, 2015 at 2:17 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  3. pnakotic August 18, 2015 at 4:42 pm #

    Ah 10 cent beer night. One of the greatest nights in baseball history. Alas, also one of the reasons beer is never sold at a baseball game after the 7th inning. I think the only night I love more is Disco Demolition night when a case of disco records were destroyed in an bacchanalian orgy of destruction between games in a double header between the White Sox and the Tigers in 1979. The field was so damaged by the explosion (they blew up the crate of records on the field) and ensuing fan riot (because no explosion is complete without a bunch of drunk people storming the field and releasing their hate for 1970s dance music in some sort of twisted Saturnalia) that the White Sox had to forfeit the second game to the Tigers….

    Baseball in the 1970s was a completely different animal than it is now.

    • domingosaurus August 18, 2015 at 4:49 pm #

      I know about Disco Demolition night too! It’s funny, I don’t care much about sports, but I LOVE scandals! Did you know Michael Clarke Duncan was at Disco Demolition night? And claimed to have stolen one of the bases?

      • pnakotic August 19, 2015 at 1:39 pm #

        I did not know that, but that…is….AWESOME….

  4. Bruce Thiesen August 23, 2015 at 3:04 pm #

    The 1970s. How did we survive? And yes, Billy Martin was a mess of a person. Let me save you from investing in any more time with baseball. Stories like this followed him his whole life.

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  1. August. I came. I saw. I kicked its ass! | Not Necessarily About Dinosaurs or Anything Else - August 31, 2015

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AlyZen Moonshadow

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AlyZen Moonshadow

The words and works of AlyZen Moonshadow, digital mixed media photography artist, designer, musician, poet, philosopher, mother, muse, Goddess!

Are You Finished Yet?

I like to write about stuff. I usually try to be funny. Take it or leave it.

Michael's Origins

Sherlock unlocking the past

anewperspectiveperhaps

This site is about everything from my philosophy on life to the little things that make me laugh. IIt is about living, and breathing, and pausing long enough to take it all in. I hope it makes you laugh, sometimes makes you cry, but always makes you want to come back for another visit. It is your words, and your likes that inspire me to keep writing. And it is through my writing that you have a very large window to my soul. Relax awhile, read, and enjoy!

Be Free 2 Love

Soaring through Life, Love, & Happiness: One story at time.

PotatoPen

That's right! I write!

Forty, c'est Fantastique !

La vie est belle !

Mr Tookles

tee hee

The Dependent Independent

TV, movies, books…rants… just trying to put skills to use.

Fictional Kevin

Cigar Fueled Creative Writing

Tubularsock

". . . first hand coverage, second hand news"

Elizabeth Conrad

True stories from a recovering asshole.

jenny's lark

the beauty of an ordinary life

Skinny and Single

Single and Over 40 and Not Suicidal About It

BunKaryudo

Lovingly Hand-Crafted Humor Blog

Life After 50

Life at any age can be amazing! We only need to grab hold & experience it!

Lessons from my daughter

Although all doctors agreed she would do nothing.....

lindaseccaspina

remembers the invention of the wheel

Fiction Favorites

with John W. Howell

Retro Girl & the Chemo Kid

Superpower: love. Adventures through childhood cancer, grief, healing and happiness.

What Rhymes with Stanza?

Words at rest, words at play

Life and Random Thinking

A old dog CAN blog

Live Laugh RV

Our next Chapter

NestOfSquirrels

Acorns. And scurrying.

The Falling Thoughts

Poems, Poetry Plus Passion

heretherebespiders

blowing through the cobwebs of my mind

Mental Defecation

My mind poops here

emmakwall (explains it all)

Film & soundtrack reviews, good humour and lists

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As I navigate through this life ...

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