Friday, June 6, 2008

A Change of Pace

For the first time in Sportsix's short history, I'm going to be writing about a journalist that I believe is credible, has researched his topic tediously and is very, very talented and skilled at his craft. His name is Paul Jackson and he's a Chicago-based freelance writer.

Paul just did a piece for ESPN Page 2 on 10¢ beer night in Cleveland.

Forfeits in baseball are pretty rare, and as Paul points out, there hasn't been one in almost 13 years, which works out to roughly 30,000 major league games.

Basically, the combination of cheap beer, a city on the verge of bankruptcy and fans frustrated with their teams futility damned near killed a bunch of ballplayers on June 4, 1974.

What's especially fascinating about this, is the number of really well-known guys who were involved. I had heard of this event, albeit briefly, but I had no idea that guys like Billy Martin, Jeff Burroughs (father of former Padre/Ray Sean), Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins Mike Hargrove and others were present.

Point I'm making is that if you're a fan of the game, you ought to know about an event like this. I didn't. And most of you probably don't, so check it out.

I'll close with an interesting little tidbit: Outfielder Rusty Torres actually witnessed 3 riots in his career. He was standing on second base when all hell broke loose in Cleveland, and was also present for the Senator's final game in Washington in 1971, and the infamous Disco Demolition Night in Chicago in 1979.

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