Ten Cent Beer Night | Sport is Poetry |

Listen, my readers, and you shall hear

Of a night in Cleveland when they sold ten cent beer,

On the fourth of June, in Seventy-Four:

When only a dime bought a full 12-ounce pour

Preventing those in attendance from thinking too clear.

Said the Indians owners, “To the concession stands they’ll march

Six beers per purchase, visit as often as you might,

Our team loses often; our fans will be parched,”

Twenty-five thousand patrons, most high as a kite, —

One beer for you, and two more for me;

What an unruly bunch we’ve come to be,

While Tuesday night baseball gives no cause for alarm

It was clear by the ninth that this crowd could cause harm,

As with knives and chains and bottles they were armed.”

A flasher, a streaker, father-son mooners and more

Got rambunctious and rowdy when the Tribe tied the score

Drunken fans storming the field and having their way,

Things seldom seen in the bright light of day

With the game notched in the ninth and many fans on the floor,

Patrons attacked the visiting Rangers on the Lake Erie shore

Emboldened and brazen after many dime drafts

The Tribe faithful took to the outfield and charged the base paths,

Beneath a full moon they snatched Burroughs’ hat

Forcing players to protect themselves with real wooden bats,

A riot broke out; the soused crowd an unruly lot

Who could have known so much beer would be bought?

When umpire Chylak got whacked with a seat

The crew chief ruled, “This game has become one we cannot complete”

Both teams left the field to seek shelter in the dugout

That order could be restored they had serious doubt,

Like uncontrollable beasts only seen in a zoo

Chylak’s head had been bloodied; his options were few,

To call the game over was all he could do

The Indians forfeited to Texas the win

A situation major league baseball has not seen again,

Fist-swinging drunks inciting such fear

All of it caused by too much cheap beer