Ten-Cent Beer Night will forever serve as a reminder of what happens when you make beer too affordable for sports fans.
On June 4, 1974, the Cleveland Indians hosted the Texas Rangers at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, with a larger-than-average crowd of 25,000.
According to Sports Illustrated, the Cleveland ballpark offered attendees "10 ounces of Stroh’s beer for 10 cents," with a purchase limit of up to six cups.
Various reports said that fans were drunk before the first pitch, and caused problems throughout the game. According to Paul Jackson's 2008 account for ESPN, attendees showed up with firecrackers in their pockets and one woman jumped the wall to show her breasts.
The game culminated in a riot. Here's Jackson's description:
The jovial, frolicking nudists had disappeared. The mob that replaced them kept its clothes on and brandished an arsenal that made Martin's Louisville Slugger look like a child's toy. The Rangers manager spotted people wielding chains, knives and clubs fashioned from pieces of stadium seats. The 25 Texas players quickly found themselves surrounded by 200 angry drunks, and more were tumbling over the wall onto the field. The Texas Rangers had been ambushed.
Umpire Nestor Chylak railed against the crowd in the dressing room after he was forced to forfeit the game to the Rangers.
"Animals, (censored) animals, that's all these (censored) people are," he shouted, according to the Dallas Morning News.
I even saw a couple of knives out there in that mob. They wanted to kill somebody. I personally got hit with a chair and a rock and look at this [he held up his hand where there was an ugly cut that was bleeding]
I went as far as I could with this crowd and I can't say enough about the Texas team and Mr. Martin for restraining themselves so long. But when they charged out of that dugout they did it because they had to. Those animals were in control then.
Now That's Class!, a Cleveland bar, will celebrate this year with their own ten-cent beer night.
39th anniversary celebration sponsored by LOTUS PRINTING. June 4, 1974. 10 tickets for $1. We will have 4 kegs starting at 6 pm. It always runs out early so get here on time!