baseball the ancient past

Disco Demolition Night

Hard to believe it was 30 years ago, but there's some excel­lent local news footage of a noto­ri­ous moment in base­ball his­to­ry: the White Sox ill-fat­ed "Dis­co Demo­li­tion" pro­mo­tion. In the end, Comiskey Park descend­ed into a riot after a Chica­go DJ explod­ed a crate full of dis­co records in the mid­dle of the field between games of a dou­ble-head­er. The NYT has a nice chron­i­cle of the unfold­ing disaster:

[Mike] Veeck, [son of the White Sox own­er], ordered yel­low-jack­et­ed guards to go out­side to stop fans from crash­ing the gates.That allowed the spec­ta­tors inside the ball­park to storm the field with­out much resis­tance. Jack Mor­ris, a Tigers pitch­er, recalled "whiskey bot­tles were fly­ing over our dugout" after Detroit won the first game, 4–1.Then Dahl blew up the records."And then all hell broke loose," Mor­ris said. "They charged the field and start­ed tear­ing up the pitch­ing rub­ber and the dirt. They took the bases. They start­ed dig­ging out home plate."

Watch for Greg Gum­bel in the footage above; he was a sports­cast­er for a Chica­go-area station.