10-cent beer night

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On June 4, 1974, at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, the Cleveland Indians forfeited a Major League Baseball game to the Texas Rangers after numerous fans ran onto the field and brawled with each other and the players. One significant factor leading to the series of incidents was the evening's "10-Cent Beer Night" promotion, which enabled fans to purchase an unrestricted number of concession beers in increments of six.

The promotion was intended to boost flagging attendance. On that night, 25,134 fans attended the game, more than double the average crowd for the 1974 season. The demand for cheap beer was so great that night that ultimately fans were allowed to "line up behind the outfield fences and have their cups filled directly from Stroh's company trucks."[1]

Early in the game, a woman jumped over the wall near the first base dugout and bared her chest to players and umpires. Firecrackers were detonated continuously by fans who brought them to the game. A man ran onto the field and slid into second base without any clothes on. In the fourth inning, fans threw empty and full plastic beer cups at Rangers manager Billy Martin. In the fifth inning, two men ran onto the field and exposed their buttocks in the direction of Rangers outfielders. A general sense of bedlam permeated the field of play and the stands, overwhelming maintenance crews and security personnel.

Later in the game, a fan flipped the cap off of Rangers outfielder Jeff Burroughs, who fell to the ground when turning to confront the fan. Martin then urged his team to take the field in Burroughs' defense. The Rangers were met by hundreds of drunken, unruly fans. When the Cleveland Indians team came out to help the Rangers, a melee ensued. Fans and players fought: Indians reliever Tom Hilgendorf was hit in the head with a chair, and Mike Hargrove wrestled with a fan to the ground.

After the confrontation died down, umpire Nestor Chylak - himself injured in the altercations - forfeited the game to the Rangers. Fans had stolen the bases from the field.

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