"We got hit with everything" - When former Rangers manager Billy Martin reflected on the infamous 10-cent beer night riot in Cleveland

Former Rangers Manager Billy Martin Reflects on Disastrous 1974 Promotion
Former Rangers Manager Billy Martin Reflects on Disastrous 1974 Promotion

Back in 1974, Texas Rangers manager Billy Martin and the club prepared to take on Cleveland in what would be a rare game that ended in a forfeit. This was not because the teams were struggling to field players; it was due to a disastrous promotion.

That night, Cleveland was looking to fill the seats, so they introduced 10-cent beer night. It was successful and led to Cleveland seeing double their average attendance.

However, it did not take long for chaos to ensue. In the second inning, a woman jumped into the on-deck circle, and two more on-field incidents involving fans were had.

Despite all that, the game made its way to the ninth inning where Texas held a two-run lead. Cleveland fought its way back to tie the game, but that is where the game was called. Fans threw golf balls, batteries, and rocks onto the field, causing mayhem.

"We got hit with everything you can think of," - said Billy Martin.

A fan even came onto the field and swiped Texas outfielder Jeff Burroughs' glove. When he went to chase the fan down to get his glove back, he was swarmed by Cleveland fans, and the game had to be called.

Billy Martin recalls Cleveland players protecting Rangers players in the historic 1974 spat

1974 10-Cent Beer Night Promotion (Image via USA Today)
1974 10-Cent Beer Night Promotion (Image via USA Today)

During all the chairs, Cleveland players were initially trying to protect Billy Martin and the rest of his Rangers staff. It ultimately led to them fighting to protect their own well-being.

"Chairs were flying down out of the upper deck. Cleveland players were fighting their own fans. First they were protecting the Rangers and then they were fighting to protect themselves. Somebody hit Tom Hilgendorf with a chair and cut his head open" - said Martin.

Since 1954, this stands as just one of four games that have ended in a forfeit. The most recent comes in the way of the 1995 matchup between the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers.

This game ended because of another disastrous promotion. Fans were handed baseballs as part of a pregame promotion and proceeded to chuck them on the field following the ejections of Raul Mondesi and Tommy Lasorda.

Since then, teams have altered their pregame promotions to limit any fan interruption. However, there are still plenty of exciting promotions in today's game like promotional; bobbleheads and dog night at the park.

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Edited by Jared "Bloomy" Bloom
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