News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Knight Foundation

Don Drumm Studios

Meaden & Moore


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
People


"Perfect storm' of beer and frustration hit Cleveland 40 years ago tonight
Ten Cent Beer Night on June 4, 1974, gave Cleveland sports another black eye
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA


Reporter
Kabir Bhatia
 
Tom Hilgdendorf after being hit with a chair during Ten Cent Beer Night.
Courtesy of Cleveland Press
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
Forty years ago tonight, the Cleveland Indians nearly beat the Texas Rangers at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. That is, until the Tribe had to forfeit due to a riot on Ten-Cent Beer Night. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports on one of many nights that will live in infamy for Cleveland Indians fans.
'A perfect storm' of beer hit Cleveland 40 years ago tonight

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:33)


Many baseball clubs offered beer for a nickel or quarter in the early ‘70s -- without much trouble.

But by June 4, 1974, the Indians were in the midst of a 30-year slump. A couple weeks before, a bench-clearing brawl had broken out when the Indians visited Texas on the Rangers’ 10-Cent Beer Night. In the days that followed, sports talker Pete Franklin stoked Clevelanders’ frustration and set up the June 4 game as a grudge match.

Sportscaster Dan Coughlin – then an Indians beat writer for the Plain Dealer – was one of the 25,000 people in the cavernous Cleveland Municipal Stadium that night.

“There were a lot of strangers coming into the game that night. And the significance of that is, back then the Indians usually drew about 7,000 people, and you knew them all!”

College kids cut loose
“A lot of them arrived drunk," adds Coughlin. "They headed right to the concession stands. There was no limit. Whatever you could carry.”

And soon, the nationwide fad of streaking – which had enveloped college campuses, The Tonight Show and even the Academy Awards – hit Cleveland.

“Every inning there was something. A father-and-son combination: naked. They dashed out and both slid into second base. Now imagine, sliding, naked. You could get a heck of a rash. Then about the middle of the game, they started throwing firecrackers.”

That was it for the umpires. Both teams were called into the dugout for their own safety. Venerable announcer Herb Score tried to calm the crowd over the PA.

Nothing's working
When a fan stole one of the Rangers’ caps, that was it for hot-tempered Rangers’ Manager Billy Martin.

“So Billy grabbed a bat and said, ‘Boys let’s go get ‘em!’ Now the Indians were in a position where they had to defend other baseball players. It was like the movie ‘300.’”

Eventually, fans stole all the bases and the Indians had to forfeit. But that wasn’t the end of Ten-Cent Beer Night. Another one was scheduled for later that season and went off without incident. For Dan Coughlin, June 4 was just a perfect storm.

“We had Pete Franklin. We had Billy Martin. We had a full moon and we had the kids home from college!”

By the way, the Indians take on the Red Sox tonight at Progressive Field. Hot dogs are $1, but beer will be regular price.
Listener Comments:

The humanity, there where hot dogs everywhere.


Posted by: Bill (Maryland) on June 5, 2014 12:06PM
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Three exonerated of murder convictions from 18 years ago
Thanks heavens that none of them have been condemned to death. This alons should convince the USA to join the civilized world by abolishing the death penalty. E...

Kombucha: a sweet business brewed with fermented tea
Stevia is not an artificial sweetener. It is a plant. I have one growing in my sunroom. The leaves are dried and added to teas. It's harvested commercially and...

Bringing back ballet in Cleveland
I do think Ballet in Cleveland is doing good things, but the fact that director says "When we have flourishing companies like the New York City Ballet and the A...

Report confirms some Vietnam veterans may have been exposed to Agent Orange
was in nam 1969 exposed va stated lost medical records was in lawsuit from 197? till settled 0 $ 2010 ? said all nam vets will get back disability till 198? jus...

Mentorship grant program redefines "faith-based" provision
Can't anyone have values, beliefs, and morals anymore? How is it anymore unconstitutional for a school partner with a "faith-based" organization than any other ...

Exploradio: The challenge of finding a healthy balance with technology
Thank you, Jeff, for another well done Exploradio. I always learn something interesting about what is happening in NE Ohio.

Northeast Ohio's transgender community rallies around restroom issue
A good first step would be for Cleveland to require restaurants to have a public restroom. Cleveland is the only city I've ever been in where restaurants somet...

Vapor shops say tobacco tax hikes could hit them hard
Maybe you should be DOING a study, since every time you've tried to villianize them all that's happened was the opposite. I'm not a fan of alcohol that's flavor...

New law gives access to birth records to Ohio adoptees
Can siblings also look for their missing brother or sister? And how do we go about it?

Ida McKinley's tiara comes home, with the help of "Pawn Stars"
I donated to the fund to keep the tiara at the museum where I believe it belongs. I took my 16 year old granddaughter to the showing I dont think it will be som...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University