Detroit Tigers vs Chicago White Sox
July 12, 1979 Box Score

Disco Demolition Night : Bring a disco record, get into the ballpark for 98 cents, and between the scheduled doubleheader, watch a crate full of those records get literally blown-up on the field—what could go wrong? Everything! Nearly 50,000 "fans" attended the game, but many of them were not there to watch baseball, they were there to celebrate the death of disco music. Crew chief Dave Phillips said, "It looked like a small Woodstock drug fest." At 8:40 PM, shock-jock Steve Dahl took the field in a Jeep, dressed in army fatigues, and told the crowd, "This is now officially the world's largest anti-disco rally! Now listen, we took all the disco records you brought tonight, we got 'em in a giant box, and we're gonna blow 'em up reeeeeeal goooood." A "disco sucks" chant could be heard, quite possibly down at Wrigley Field, when Dahl set off the explosives, which literally tore a hole in the outfield grass. Phillips said, "It looked like a spaceship took off them center field, it was smoldering." Twenty-eight minutes later, Chicago riot police were storming the stadium, but not because of the fire. The scoreboard was flashing "PLEASE RETURN TO YOUR SEATS" because thousands of fans had stormed the field, set additional fires, destroyed the batting cages, taken all the bases, and started a bonfire where the original explosion had occurred. Thirty-nine people were arrested for disorderly conduct and groundskeepers attempted to clear away the debris, but the field was badly damaged and the second game was postponed. American League president Lee MacPhail forfeited the second game to the Tigers the following day.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"Disco Demolition Night was a promotion in which White Sox fans were supposed to cheerfully destroy every disco record they owned. Except they didn't stop with wiping out KC and the Sunshine Band. They almost destroyed Comiskey Park too — causing the White Sox to forfeit a game with Detroit. (Bill) Veeck said he felt guilty for a long time. But finally, he said, he learned that 'its only a forfeited game. It's unfortunate. But it's just a mosquito bite in the picnic of life.'" - Staff Writer Jayson Stark in The Dayton Daily News (08/13/1995, Disco Demolition As All-Time Bad Idea , Page 2D)

Baseball Almanac Box Scores

Detroit Tigers 4, Chicago White Sox 1

Detroit Tigers ab r h rbi
LeFlore cf 5 0 2 0
Whitaker 2b 4 1 0 0
Staub dh 3 1 1 0
Thompson 1b 4 0 0 0
Summers rf 3 1 2 0
Morales lf 4 1 2 1
Parrish c 4 0 1 1
Brookens 3b 4 0 1 1
Trammell ss 4 0 0 0
Underwood p 0 0 0 0
Lopez p 0 0 0 0
Totals 35 4 9 3
Chicago White Sox ab r h rbi
Bannister 2b 4 0 1 0
Moore lf 4 0 1 0
Lemon cf 3 0 1 0
Johnson 1b 3 0 0 0
Nordhagen dh 3 0 0 0
Orta ph,dh 1 0 0 0
Torres rf 3 1 1 0
Washington ph 1 0 0 0
Morrison 3b 4 0 0 0
Pryor ss 3 0 1 1
Colbern c 3 0 0 0
Howard p 0 0 0 0
Farmer p 0 0 0 0
Totals 32 1 5 1
Detroit 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 4 9 0
Chicago 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 2
Detroit Tigers IP H R ER BB SO
Underwood W (4-0) 7.2 5 1 1 2 3
Lopez SV (5) 1.1 0 0 0 0 2
Totals 9.0 5 1 1 2 5
Chicago White Sox IP H R ER BB SO
Howard L (1-4) 5.1 6 4 2 2 4
Farmer 3.2 3 0 0 1 1
Totals 9.0 9 4 2 3 5

E –Morrison (1), Colbern (2). DP –Chicago 2. 2B –Chicago Bannister (14,off Underwood); Pryor (10,off Underwood); Moore (4,off Underwood). 3B –Detroit Brookens (1,off Howard). SB –Staub (1,2nd base off Howard/Colbern); Morales (1,2nd base off Howard/Colbern); Summers (2,2nd base off Howard/Colbern); LeFlore 2 (47,2nd base off Farmer/Colbern 2). U-HP –Dave Phillips, 1B –Dan Morrison, 2B –Dallas Parks, 3B –Durwood Merrill. T –2:38. A –47,795.

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Disco Demolition Night was the brainchild of Steve Dahl and Garry Meier, two DJs at The Loop (97.9 WLUP-FM), a radio station in Chicago. On each anniversary of the event, Dahl literally receives hundreds of interview requests and once interviewed himself, on the 30th anniversary of Disco Demolition Night, in the Chicago Tribune :

What was with the stupid army get-up? I don't know. I had envisioned an anti-disco army. A sort of paramilitary group of rock 'n rollers.

Seriously? Vietnam was over; and it seemed as if we needed a military presence somewhere.

You realize the jacket was about two sizes too small. Yes, it was the biggest one they had.

You realize that get-up made you look like one of the Village People, right? Yes, in hindsight, it did seem to have a Village People sort of feel to it.

Are you a macho man? No, more of a nacho man.

How does it make you feel that people are still talking about Disco Demolition Night 30 years later? It makes me feel as if I am an oldies band performing at Ribfest in Naperville.

That's a bad thing? Not a bad thing, but I'd like to be remembered for more than just that.

So you'd like to be remembered for more than just Disco Demolition Night? Yes, I think that being on the air and near the top of the ratings heap on Chicago radio for 30 years counts for something too.

What were your thoughts as you arrived at Comiskey Park that night? I saw a lot of people selling T-shirts outside the park, with the Insane Coho Lips name on them, and it occurred to me that I should have planned ahead and made some shirts of my own to sell.

Insane Coho Lips? Yes, that was the name of the anti-disco army. The Insane Unknowns were a popular gang back then, and I passed the Coho fishing fleet in Burnham Harbor every morning on my way to work, so I put the two together, and voila.

So you had no idea that DD was going to be as big as it was? No, I thought it was going to be a failure Even if I drew 10,000 fans, the place would have still looked empty. I was just hoping I wouldn't be too embarrassed. I mean, I was dressed up like a fat G.I. Joe singing "Do You Think I'm Disco" a capella and running around blowing up records.

When did you know that it was going to be bigger than you had ever imagined? When I finally got down on the field and felt the beer-fueled energy of the crowd. I might have also smelled a little pot. They were throwing cheery bombs at me. Never schedule an event that close to the 4th of July.

MLB Network | Disco Demolition Night | November 11, 1, 2011

Some Hot Stuff happened during that Disco Inferno and more than one fan left with a little Night Fever . It was truly a Boogie Wonderland in that Funkytown ; there were Bad Girls , and at times it seemed like it was Raining Men , but the Love Train was there to Turn The Beat Around , Rock the Boat just a little, and make sure the fans had Good Times . Before we Play That Funky Music on our way to the YMCA , we want to have one Last Dance and share these historic photos of this Celebration :

Disco Demolition Night Photograph

Disco Demolition Night Photograph | July 12, 1979 | Comiskey Park

Disco Demolition Night Photograph

Disco Demolition Night Photograph | July 12, 1979 | Comiskey Park

Disco Demolition Night Photograph

Disco Demolition Night Photograph | July 12, 1979 | Comiskey Park

Disco Demolition Night Photograph

Disco Demolition Night Photograph | July 12, 1979 | Comiskey Park

Disco Demolition Night Photograph

Disco Demolition Night Photograph | July 12, 1979 | Comiskey Park

Disco Demolition Night Photograph

Disco Demolition Night Photograph | July 12, 1979 | Comiskey Park

Fred Schwed, Jr., in How to Watch a Baseball Game (1957) wrote our favorite baseball box score quote, "The baseball box score is the pithiest form of written communication in America today. It is abbreviated history. It is two or three hours (the box score even gives that item to the minute) of complex activity, virtually inscribed on the head of a pin, yet no knowing reader suffers from eyestrain."

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