Rangers players scrap with an out-of-control fan on the field in Cleveland in 1974. Paul Tepley Collection/Diamond Images/Getty Images

June 4 in sports history: 10-cent beer + MLB = toxic brew

Here's a look back at notable sports news on June 4 through the years.


1974: 10-cent beer on a warm night in Cleveland? Hey, what could go wrong? 

Early in the Rangers-Indians game at dumpy Municipal Stadium, inebriated young fans among the crowd of 25,000 ran onto the field during "Beer Night," some wielding knives and chairs, according to an Associated Press report. Firecrackers were occasionally heard — some were even thrown into the Rangers dugout. Then a naked guy ran onto the field in the sixth inning.

As the game progressed, increasingly more fans made a spectacle of themselves by running onto the field. Concerned about debris tossed at his bullpen crew, Rangers manager Billy Martin ordered them to seek cover elsewhere.

By the bottom of the ninth, it really was nutty. Fans poured out of the right-field stands to harass Rangers outfielder Jeff Burroughs. Led by Martin, players from both teams went to Burroughs' aid.

"You have to realize that only thing I had to defend myself with was my fists," Burroughs told reporters. "I was happy to get some help. And I thank Indians for coming out to help me."

Players and fans scrapped all over the field. No players were injured seriously, although Indians pitcher Tom Hilgendorf was hit in the head with a chair. Five fans were arrested. Seven fans were treated for minor injuries at hospitals.

With the score tied 5-5 in the bottom of the ninth, chief umpire Nestor Chylak had seen enough. Cut on the hand and also hit on the head by a chair, he ordered the game forfeited to the Rangers.

"We were so scared out there, we had made plans for our escape," Chylak said, adding, "I saw weapons out there, and I'm sure the only other place you would see something like this happen would be in a zoo."

"It's the closest I've ever seen anybody come to getting killed in my more than 25 years in baseball," Martin said.

Stunningly, the Indians held another 10-cent Beer Night on July 18. The limit was two cups per customer. There was no riot during the game.

DOMINANCE BY DODGERS

1964: In the pre-video days, pitchers sought help everywhere they could. After Sandy Koufax corrected a flaw in his delivery, he was masterful, no-hitting the Phillies in a 3-0 win. 

"I have been studying pictures in magazines of my form and suddenly realized that I had been stepping too far to the left, with the right foot across my body, sort of blocking myself out," he told reporters after the gem. "So in the first few innings, I concentrated on making an adjustment, stepping more to the right. It felt fine. I had the old pitching rhythm back."

1968: Dodgers right-hander Don Drysdale shut out the Pirates, 5-0, for his sixth straight shutout en route to a then-record streak of 58.2 scoreless innings.

1990: In a 6-0 win over the Braves in Los Angeles, 23-year-old Dodgers right-hander Ramon Martinez struck out 18 and pitched a three-hitter. Martinez, who dressed at Dodgers Stadium near Koufax's old locker, impressed the Braves. "I don't know how everybody else hits the guy," Atlanta star Dale Murphy said. 

2009: In a 5-1 win over the last-place Nationals in Washington, San Francisco's Randy Johnson became the 24th pitcher in MLB history — and the first since Tom Glavine in 2007 — to win 300 games. He was only the sixth lefty to reach the lofty total. Just 4,500 fans witnessed the historic achievement on a rainy weekday afternoon in the nation's capital.

"No one throws like him," said Washington's Adam Dunn of the 45-year-old "Big Unit." "He's 7-foot tall [actually 6-foot-10], throws three-quarter arm and brings it hard, real hard. And no one has a slider like that. If you're a left-handed hitter like me, it looks like the ball is coming in from first base and every pitch is going to hit you in the head."

END TO REMARKABLE STREAK

1987: In the 1980s, track star Edwin Moses was one of the most dominant athletes around. On this date, however, his record unbeaten streak of 122 races in the 400-meter hurdles was snapped by Danny Harris in Madrid. Harris won in 47.56 seconds, .13 seconds ahead of Moses, whose epic streak began Aug. 26, 1977.

"I lost because I am not in great shape right now and Danny had the run of his life," Moses told reporters.

QUICK WORK

1988: West Germany’s Steffi Graf won the French Open title in 32 minutes. Then she apologized. "I'm very sorry it was so fast," Graf sheepishly told fans in Paris after her 6-0, 6-0 win over 17-year-old Natalia Zvereva of the Soviet Union. The title was Graf's second straight French singles crown. She only lost 13 points.

DOMINANT WINGS

2008: With a 3-2 win over the Penguins in Game 6 in Pittsburgh, the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup for the fourth time in 11 seasons. 

Wrote Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press: 

"There may not be that many legends on this team. But they wove a rich enough tapestry this season, from the excellence of the two reigning superstars, [Henrik] Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, to the steady, sterling example of [Nicklas] Lidstrom, to the best pair of goalies in the NHL, Dominik Hasek, who helped bring them here, and [Chris] Osgood, who took them over the mountain."

MAJOR ACHIEVEMENT IN MINORS

1996: It was only a minor league exhibition game, but it was still a grand achievement for Pamela Davis. In pitching one scoreless inning of relief for the Double-A Jacksonville Suns, the 21-year-old right-hander became what was believed to be the first woman to pitch for an MLB farm team under the current minor league system. The Suns' opponent was the Australian Olympic team.

Davis, who allowed a leadoff double and retired the next three hitters, was a starter for the Colorado Silver Bullets women's baseball team. She received a standing ovation from the crowd of a little more than 1,000 after her appearance. "It was awesome," said Davis, who threw a fastball that topped out at about 80 mph.  "I can't even explain the feeling."

Happy birthday ... 

  • Phillies All-Star pitcher Aaron Nola, who led the league in starts last season with 34. His best season so far was 2018 when he went 17-6 and had a 2.37 ERA. (27)
  • Tony Pena, former MLB catcher who spent the bulk of his 18-year career with the Pirates and Cardinals. He was a five-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner. (63)
  • Tackle Jim Lachey, three-time Pro-Bowler and as a member of Washington’s famed “Hogs” led his team to Super Bowl XXVI.  (57)
  • Former NHL defender Derian Hatcher, a 16-season veteran who, as captain, led the Dallas Stars to the 1999 Stanley Cup victory. (48)
  • Wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, who was the first-round draft pick of the Ravens in 2019.  (23)

R.I.P.

2007: Clete Boyer, MLB third baseman who went to five straight World Series with the Yankees. He died from a brain hemorrhage. He was 70.

2010: John Wooden, legendary basketball coach who led the UCLA Bruins to 10 national championships. Wooden died of natural causes at 99.

2012: Pedro Borbon, relief pitcher who helped lead the Reds to two World Series championships. He once bit a player during a brawl and allegedly putting a voodoo curse on the Reds after they traded him. He died of cancer at 65.

2014: Iconic player and manager Don Zimmer, who spent 66 years in MLB as a player, manager and coach. He died of heart and kidney problems at 83.

2018: Former 49ers wide receiver Dwight Clark, who made one of the most memorable catches of all time. Clark’s stunning grab in the back of the end zone, “The Catch,” won the 1981 NFC championship game vs. Dallas. Clark died of ALS. He was 61.


June 3: Sammy Sosa secret uncorked

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