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Tom Poje

worst baseball promotion ever?

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a little over 38 years ago 7/12/1979

the crowd 'celebrates' but not from a pennant win, or all star game

but rather disco demolition night in Chicago.

a promotion gone really bad. between games they blew up records, the crowd stormed the field and Detroit wins the second game due to a forfeit.

Sparky Anderson had become manager mid season that year, only 1 month before this game.

 

ddpic20.jpg

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I lived in Chicago back when Disco Demolition happened and that still doesn't do what happened justice. 

Watch some of the Youtube videos of it

After the DJ blowup and set the disco albums on fire a full fledged riot between pro and anti-disco fans broke out.  The game was called and if I recall correctly it this was the first of a double header the the White Sox had to forfeit both games. 

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I would add some rock historians claim Disco Demolition was the first event that marked the start of the death of disco in the US. 

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4 minutes ago, ESOP Guy said:

I would add some rock historians claim Disco Demolition was the first event that marked the start of the death of disco in the US

Well, then at least there was SOME positive to the event!

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4 minutes ago, My 2 cents said:

No issues with the idea of "Nobody Night", but "Tonya Harding Bat Night"?????   Ewwww!

Well I should probably say that I meant favorite as in who the hell came up with this idea rather than what a great idea!

But that is what you get from the Veeck's, nothing is off limits

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19 minutes ago, RatherBeGolfing said:

Well I should probably say that I meant favorite as in who the hell came up with this idea rather than what a great idea!

But that is what you get from the Veeck's, nothing is off limits

No criticism of you intended!

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Did they really, truly, have a Tonya Harding bat night? Somehow, I either never heard that one, or in my dotage had forgotten. I thought you had to be President to get away with any such uncivilized behavior...

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12 minutes ago, Belgarath said:

Did they really, truly, have a Tonya Harding bat night? Somehow, I either never heard that one, or in my dotage had forgotten. I thought you had to be President to get away with any such uncivilized behavior...

Most of the crazier promotions are done at the minor league level.  As sad as it is, Tonya Harding Bat Night has been done by more than one organization but I believe Mike Veeck was the only one to actually get Tonya Harding to attend and sign the mini bats.  This is from the same mind that did a "Vasectomy Night" promotion for a Father's Day game, where one lucky dad won a free vasectomy...

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1 hour ago, NJ Mike said:

What about "Ten Cent Beer Night" sponsored by the Cleveland Indians, June 4, 1974?

I remember that!  Of course to the extent I remember that, you may conclude I was not there.....

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sad to say, I guess it shows my age, since it was 38 years ago, probably most on this website can not even appreciate (if that is a good term) Disco Demolition Night. I imagine most never owned a record (and so missed out on those large glorious record covers).

Reading some of the comments about the event on the internet, it was promoted by a disk jockey who had just lost his job at another station that went 'all disco' format. you could get a ticket to the game for 98 cents if you brought a record to be destroyed. they expected about 5000 additional fans. so many people showed up they stopped collecting records because the bins were full. estimated crowd was over 50,000 (largest in White Sox history), with many more outside the stadium, who eventual jumped the turnstiles anyway. [I guess in that sense of the word, a 'successful' promotion

in regards to the forfeit:

American League president Lee MacPhail, who postponed the second game to Sunday after hearing a report on conditions. Anderson, however, demanded that the game be forfeited to the Tigers. He argued that under baseball's rules, a game can only be postponed due to an act of God, and that, as the home team, the White Sox were responsible for field conditions. The next day, MacPhail forfeited the second game to the Tigers 9–0. In a ruling that largely upheld Anderson's arguments, MacPhail stated that the White Sox had failed to provide acceptable playing conditions

 

 

Mike Veeck has since become an owner of minor league baseball teams. In July 2014 the Charleston RiverDogs, of whom Veeck is president, held a promotion involving the destruction of Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus merchandise

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27 minutes ago, Tom Poje said:

I imagine most never owned a record (and so missed out on those large glorious record covers).

 

Getting way off topic but....

I to this day think the late '60s to the late '70s was the golden age of album cover art. 

To this day one of my favorite one is Rush's Moving Pictures album cover. 

It has a triple entendre:

On the front cover you see the members of Rush carrying art work into a museum looking building.  They are moving pictures.

On the back cover the band is watching a movie.  The old fashion term of that was "moving pictures".

On the side of the album cover the band can be seen crying while seeing the pictures.  Thus, the pictures are emotionally moving pictures

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Although I wasn't a huge fan of theirs, I always like the cover for Kansas' "Point of Know Return." The ship tipping over the edge of the world was just a great image.

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It was not Ten Cent Beer Night in Cleveland on that fateful night in 1974 (against the Texas Rangers) it was Nickel Beer night.

And the rest was history......

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1 hour ago, RatherBeGolfing said:

 

Most of the crazier promotions are done at the minor league level.  As sad as it is, Tonya Harding Bat Night has been done by more than one organization but I believe Mike Veeck was the only one to actually get Tonya Harding to attend and sign the mini bats.  ...

Nope, I just did some important research that says that she signed black bats with a golden pen in Jacksonville for the Jacksonville Suns in June of 2001 at that "Tonya Harding night".  Tom were you there, perhaps hosting?

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13 minutes ago, mphs77 said:

It was not Ten Cent Beer Night in Cleveland on that fateful night in 1974 (against the Texas Rangers) it was Nickel Beer night.

And the rest was history......

No, Nickel Beer Day was held without incident in Cleveland in 1971. 

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6 minutes ago, AndyH said:

Nope, I just did some important research that says that she signed black bats with a golden pen in Jacksonville for the Jacksonville Suns in June of 2001 at that "Tonya Harding night".  Tom were you there, perhaps hosting?

I might have gotten my promos mixed up since I lived in Jax at the time...  But I am pretty sure Mike was first with Tonya Harding Bat Night.  The Suns used to do quarter beer night every now and then which was a crowd pleaser for sure

 

 

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though I was a season ticket holder (until they changed their name to the Jumbo-Shrimp) I did not make the Harding game. probably a Sat night game and I was in church choir those nights.

 

beer night was always Buds for a buck, or something similarly named. I think someone copyrighted that so they had to change to Thirsty Thursday-  never went on Thursday Night either.

My brother said for the games in San Jose the promotion was 'beer guy'. if the selected batter struck our beers were half off. I guess the selected batter had little chance if he had 2 strikes, the whole crowd was chanting "beer Guy" against him.

............

in one episode of the cartoon Futurama there was a sequence of a little girl in tap dancing contest with the robot Bender. in one scene, so she would have a better chance at winning she smashes his knee. I'm laughing my head and my brother asked what was so funny, and I said because her name was Tanya. Thought that was great how they worked that into the story.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Tom Poje said:

Beer night was always Buds for a buck, or something similarly named. I think someone copyrighted that so they had to change to Thirsty Thursday-  never went on Thursday Night either.

As I remember it, you would get a wristband for Thirsty Thursday but you had to get the cheap beers from one particular beer stand...  After a while, the 30 minute wait in the cheap beer line got to be to much and many would just get regular priced beers.

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wristbands yes, multiple beer stands so that wasn't a problem. gave the season tickets to 'younger' co workers

they said the beer lines were long, the restroom lines were longer.

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