Today marks the 30th anniversary of one of the most notorious incidents in baseball history. It was July 12, 1979 when Mike Veeck convinced his dad, Chicago White Sox owner Bill, to let him invite a popular Chicago disc jockey to blow up disco records - by then becoming the scourge of the music world - between games of a doubleheader against Detroit and charge fans 98 cents for tickets. An easy way to liven up what promised to be a less-than-thrilling day and night of baseball between two non-contenders.
Of course, we all know what happened from there - the enthusiasm for hastening the death of disco turned into a full-blown riot, and the White Sox were forced to forfeit the second game of the doubleheader. Known as Disco Demolition Night, it ruined careers and has become part of baseball folklore. To get a sense of how the local media treated it as it happened, check out some vintage news footage after the jump:
Mike Veeck wants to show you how to have fun - for college credit.
The ASSOCIATED PRESS reports that the minor league owner known for bizarre promotions will be teaching a graduate marketing course at The Citadel.
Veeck, whose business motto is “Fun is Good”, is part of a group that runs the nearby Charleston Riverdogs. During his tenure, he’s come up with such promotions as Nobody Night. On that evening, fans were locked out of the ballpark in order to set a new record for lowest-ever attendance.
Veeck also has a hand in running a couple of other clever minor league franchises: The St. Paul Saints, creators of the Michael Vick Dog Chew Toy giveaway; and the Ft. Myers Miracle, host of Billy Donovan Night, where fans were able to negotiate to get their ticket money back. The event was held in honor of Donovan’s brief flirtation with the Orlando Magic.
But Veeck is probably best known for organizing Disco Demolition Night - the 1979 White Sox promotion that resulted in on-field riots and a game forfeit.
Hope the Citadel’s classrooms have their albums locked up tight.