Thursday, July 12, 2018

EXTRA: 39 years, really?

It has been 39 years to the date that either Chicago White Sox fans allowed a catastrophe to occur in between games of a double-header against the Detroit Tigers. Or else outspoken broadcaster/former ballplayer Jimmy Piersall showed himself to be the ultimate crotchety old man.
We're talking Disco Demolition, when local broadcaster Steve Dahl made his rep by leading the anti-disco music rally (dressed in a pseudo-military uniform as a "general" in the war against bad music) that resulted in some 2,800 fans storming the field and causing damage, while many others remained in their seats and wondered what kind of "dope" these young kids were smoking.

I STILL GET a kick out of watching the WSNS-TV broadcast of the game, with Piersall attempting to narrate what was happening on the field (along with the late baseball writer Bill Gleason of the Chicago Sun-Times), while also showing his contempt.

"This is the sickest sight I've seen in a ballpark in my life," Piersall said. "This garbage of destroying a record has turned into a fiasco."

While many of those who have memories of storming the field talk of how liberating an experience it was.

We even got to hear Piersall go into a diatribe that makes him sound like he was a Trump-ite, some four decades before it was fashionable to be so.

"WE HAVE BECOME a nation of followers, we're insecure. We follow someone who's a jerk," he said, while adding he didn't understand the appeal of the event. "I'd rather go swimming, or do a lot of other things than stand around on a baseball field."

Some 39 years later, people still recall the event -- and some people awash in Chicago Cubbiness try to use it to detract from the White Sox.
Which makes me think Gleason may also have missed the point when he said, "This is not a scene I want to remember."

Because it is one that many of us will never forget. Including Major League Baseball itself. Because would anybody be remembering a 39-year-old game between the two teams that finished in fifth place in their respective American League divisions for any other reason?


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