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.

The Holden Arboretum

Knight Foundation


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

From warehouse to writer: Terry Pluto's Thanksgiving thank you
Dear Terry: On my 8th cup of coffee trying to get Thanksgiving "Brunch" done ahead of time because I work nights. However, I just had to stop to contact yo...

The first big private gift comes in for the pro football HOF project
The HOF has needed a shot in the arm for many years and this project will go a long way to getting the attraction the attention it deserves (next: upgrad...

Environmental study nears completion in East Liverpool
Twenty years ago my twin sister and I protested the building and operation of the WTI facility citing several studies that indicated the risk of cancer due to ...

HOF's Canton expansion could take an island and make it a village
I live in the block from Broad St to the Hall of Fame and will be impacted by the expansion. I am in the process of selling my home and planned to long before i...

Cleveland redeploys police to replace rejected red-light traffic cameras
Periodic rotational enforcement without warning does NOT change behavior and the city officials know that. This is the basis of all officer-run enforcement trap...

New enrollment period offers more insurance options
The removal of federal funding for healthcare CO-OPs may limit the growth of the CO-OP movement. http://www.healthcaretownhall.com/?p=6381

The family of Boardman vet killed in Vietnam receives his medals
My name is Mike Eisenbraun. I am Larry's brother. I was 14 years old when Larry was killed in Vietnam. He has been gone for 46 years but it seems like yester...

Cleveland seniors are creating new wealth -- and facing new challenges
Why is anyone surprised that we people over 65 are not retiring? If you have been paying attention, defined company funded pensions were phasing out in the eigh...

Ohio company cuts off a dairy supplier after allegations of animal abuse
these people should be held accountable for their actions. i would be more than pleased to see a year or more behind bars. i will NEVER eat anything that comes ...

Copyright © 2014 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