Echoes of a Dying city-cleveland
Last night on Costas Now I watched the recollections of the famous 10-Cent Beer Night night debacle at the Mistake by the Lake.
Give those midwesterners free beer and watch out. Here is the initial background.
“Cleveland’s first (and last) “10-Cent Beer Night” was the first game of a three-game series against the Texas Rangers, who had held “cheap beer nights” of their own at Arlington Stadium the previous season without incident. Even though the Rangers had suffered through two of the worst seasons in baseball history since moving from Washington to Arlington,”
The plot thickens
“For a team that had averaged less than 8,000 fans a game the previous season, the announced attendance of over 25,000 was an impressive turnout. But many of the fans were already tipsy when they showed up and things turned ugly early. Especially ominous were the sounds of small explosions from the stands, heard from the press box as early as the first inning.After the Rangers took an early lead, the alcohol-fueled frenzy that had pushed fans through the turnstiles began to push them onto the field. In the second inning, a large woman jumped into the Indians’ on-deck circle and lifted her shirt; in the fourth, a naked man slid into second as Rangers outfielder Tom Grieve circled the bases with his second homer of the game; and in the fifth, a father-and-son team welcomed Hargrove to Cleveland by leaping into the infield and mooning the crowd. From the seventh inning onwards, a steady stream of interlopers greeted Burroughs in right field. Some even stopped to shake his hand.”
“The stadium simmered until the Tribe came to bat in the bottom of the ninth, down 5-3. With one out, an Ed Crosby single scored George Hendrick; two singles later, a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to center by John Lowenstein plated Crosby to tie the game. But slugger Leron Lee never had a chance to drive in the game-winner (Rusty Torres) from third. As the Cleveland fans pelted the field with golf balls, rocks and batteries, someone took the opportunity to swipe Burroughs’ glove. Burroughs chased the fan back to the stands and in response, people began swarming into the outfield, surrounding the Rangers’ star outfielder and ending any hope for an Indians rally.
“Dodging more than a few flying chairs, Texas manager Billy Martin grabbed a bat and led his team on a rescue mission to right field. “The bat showed up later,” Hargrove recalled, “and it was broken.” Even the Indians were helping to fight off their own fans. Umpire Nestor Chylak, hit by both a chair and a rock, quickly forfeited the game to Texas, officially ending the Indians’ comeback. “They were just uncontrollable beasts,” said Chylak later. “I’ve never seen anything like it except in a zoo.” Nine fans were arrested for their part in the melee.”