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.

Wayside Furniture

NOCHE

Metro RTA


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

Ohio lawmakers propose grants for home construction for disabled people
We have been trying to have a "Visitability Bill" passed for years. Thanks, Greg

Lake County crimes may give Trump immigration fodder
Shoddy reporting at best. "Mixed views" The question that came to my mind was, "How many people did he have to interview to get "mixed views". Do the two peo...

Ohio's U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown announces plans to improve Medicare by lowering prescription costs for seniors
Sounds good. I'm living in Florida to escape the snow. So far it's working. I retired from GM in 2000. Keep pushing for all the working people. In the long run ...

The tiny town that time, and elections, forgot may go out of existence
Thank you for this story. I grew up in Limaville, my parents home is there still...unsellable due to the septic/sewer problem. Sometimes I am sorry I left...wis...

Where Ohio'sJohn Kasich stands in the presidential polls
We are fans of Gov. Kasich since he served in the House of Representatives. It pleases us to finally see him as the potential President of the United States. We...

Cleveland hosts the first national Movement for Black Lives conference
What a wonderful experience this was, So much love and understanding, without all of the other distractions that tend to come with organizing for change, this e...

Air Force unit gets training and Youngstown gets rid of some eyesores
Do they have to totally destroy all the beautiful oak and leaded windows, which I am thinking are probably there? Do they just have to destroy them like that? C...

Jewish challah and Native American fry bread at an Akron cultural exchange
Each time I saw the young students relate to each other, I got goose bumps. These young students can and hopefully will teach all of us to live and respect eac...

One of the Cleveland Orchestra's most celebrated musicians bids farewell
I had the honor of studying with Franklin Cohen in the late 80s and early 90s. He is unparalleled both as a clarinetist and as a musician. His deep personal war...

Summa's dress code is not 'etched in stone'
SOME OF THESE POLICIES ARE A COMPLETE JOKE. UNLESS YOU ARE DOING THESE TYPE OF JOBS EVERY DAY, YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IS COMFORTABLE AND REASONABLE OR NOT. UNLESS ...

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