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Monday, June 24, 2013

Chambliss Ready to Part With Bat and Ball That Sent Yankees to World Series

The Louisville Slugger that Chris Chambliss used to hit one of postseason baseball’s most famous game-winning home runs has been living quietly at his home for nearly 37 years, sharing space with less famous lumber signed by Ozzie Smith and Red Schoendienst.

His renowned bat, the one with a Liberty Bell bicentennial logo stamped on its barrel, struck the first pitch of the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 1976 American League Championship Series off Kansas City Royals reliever Mark Littell….

After Chambliss’s home run, a horde of fans trampled the Yankee Stadium field — some of them imperiling his safety until he reached the dugout.

“I touched first and I touched second,” he said, “but not long after, I tripped, got to one knee and somebody tried to take my helmet.”

Third base was obliterated by fans and he could not locate home plate. He later returned to the field, escorted by two police officers, and said that by then home plate had been dug up and taken. So he touched the area where it had been, just to make sure.

Yet amid all the mayhem no one made off with his bat. Third baseman Graig Nettles made sure of that after he saw the first few fans leap over the fence near the Yankee dugout.

“I rushed home plate and was the first to get there,” he said by telephone from Lenoir City, Tenn. “Fans were starting to go after the equipment on the steps of our dugout, and I used Chris’s bat to fight them off.”

Complete with certificate of authentic hippie blood!

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 24, 2013 at 11:34 AM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: 1976 alcs, auction, chris chambliss, royals, yankees

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   1. Greg Pope Posted: June 24, 2013 at 03:42 PM (#4476870)
So, does the concept of fans storming the field only exist now in college football? It seems like the professional teams have all beefed up security to the point where this doesn't happen any more. Not that there are enough security personnel on the field to actually stop a mob, but I assume that a)nobody wants to be the first and b)90% of the mobs before were people who just thought it was the thing to do and now 90% of the people have been taught that it's not.

For some reason, college football still has this happen, I think. Not sure why.
   2. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 24, 2013 at 03:51 PM (#4476877)
The last MLB team I recall having that happen was the '86 Mets. Those fans went nuts when the Mets won the division. I thought it was great but I don't recall it anytime after that. Heck, in the World Series the fans generally stayed off the field as best I can recall.
   3. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: June 24, 2013 at 04:03 PM (#4476891)
If that Stanford trombone player getting decimated by Kevin Moen in 1982 didn't teach those yahoos to stay off the field in college football, nothing ever will.
   4. Man o' Schwar Posted: June 24, 2013 at 04:11 PM (#4476901)
College basketball as well. Any time someone beats Duke on the road, you can suspect their fans will storm the court.

I'm surprised there aren't more serious injuries, the way that drunken students trample their way forward. It seems exponentially more dangerous than rushing a football field, if only because of the hard floors and much smaller space to hold everyone.
   5. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: June 24, 2013 at 04:12 PM (#4476903)
famous lumber signed by Ozzie Smith and Red Schoendienst.

I read this too quickly and thought it said that he had a bat signed by this guy. (Which would be pretty impressive, really, since the guy's been dead almost 100 years.)
   6. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 24, 2013 at 04:12 PM (#4476905)
So, does the concept of fans storming the field only exist now in college football? It seems like the professional teams have all beefed up security to the point where this doesn't happen any more. Not that there are enough security personnel on the field to actually stop a mob, but I assume that a)nobody wants to be the first and b)90% of the mobs before were people who just thought it was the thing to do and now 90% of the people have been taught that it's not.

After the last out of the 1979 World Series, fans in Memorial Stadium could be seen on the field running around the bases, my best friend of the time among them.

And after the last out of the 1980 World Series, the playing field of the Vet was surrounded by Philadelphia's mounted police. I think that pretty much marks the relevant timeline of when any spectator spontaneity at pro events was removed from the playing field during the postgame celebrations.
   7. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 24, 2013 at 04:16 PM (#4476910)
A related question: When was the last time that the goalposts were ever torn down after any football game? I do think that it's been quite awhile, but it used to be a commonplace event when the then H-shaped goalposts were made of three plain slabs of not particularly thick wood.
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 24, 2013 at 04:23 PM (#4476915)
Torn goalposts still happened as recently as 2011. I know measure have been taken like increased security and "student-proof" goalposts, but I didn't think that had really stopped students.
   9. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: June 24, 2013 at 04:57 PM (#4476947)
After the last out of the 1979 World Series, fans in Memorial Stadium could be seen on the field running around the bases, my best friend of the time among them.

And after the last out of the 1980 World Series, the playing field of the Vet was surrounded by Philadelphia's mounted police. I think that pretty much marks the relevant timeline of when any spectator spontaneity at pro events was removed from the playing field during the postgame celebrations.


Kendrys Morales hurt himself worse jumping on home plate after a walkoff than anyone ever got hurt at those 70s vintage field storms. Hank Aaron got death threats and the like before 715, yet there were two or three fans running the bases beside him after the blessed event.

   10. Bob Meta-Meusel Posted: June 24, 2013 at 05:15 PM (#4476960)
Hank Aaron got death threats and the like before 715, yet there were two or three fans running the bases beside him after the blessed event.


And boy do I ever hate having to see those two idiot fans run the bases every time the clip gets shown.
   11. Greg K Posted: June 24, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4476964)
Kendrys Morales hurt himself worse jumping on home plate after a walkoff than anyone ever got hurt at those 70s vintage field storms. Hank Aaron got death threats and the like before 715, yet there were two or three fans running the bases beside him after the blessed event.

Morales hit a walk-off home run yesterday (or Saturday?). As he came in towards home the announcer said "don't jump!" And sure enough it was probably the most subdued walk off home run plate touch in many a year.

I remember some Redskins QB hurt himself head-butting a wall in celebration of a touchdown. Jeff Baker hurt a tendon in his thumb this year giving (or receiving) a too vigorous high-five before a game against the Blue Jays. And I bet Pierre Turgeon was embarrassed when he somehow hurt himself celebrating this goal.
   12. Greg K Posted: June 24, 2013 at 05:28 PM (#4476966)
Obviously not the same since there wasn't actually a sporting event happening there at the time, but when the Jays won the 1992 World Series (in Atlanta) the SkyDome was packed with people watching it on the big screen. We all took to the field after the last out. My dad wanted to grab homeplate, but there was a cop standing right beside it, so he settled for some of the dirt around home. Which he still has in a jar.
   13. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: June 24, 2013 at 05:44 PM (#4476973)
I remember some Redskins QB hurt himself head-butting a wall in celebration of a touchdown.

Gus Frerotte. Sprained his neck, had to go to the hospital at halftime. And of course Bill Gramatica tore his ACL celebrating a FG kick.
   14. Renegade (((JE))) Posted: June 24, 2013 at 05:47 PM (#4476975)
I remember some Redskins QB hurt himself head-butting a wall in celebration of a touchdown.

Meet Gus Frerotte.

EDIT: Pepsi Max to Petunia.

   15. Renegade (((JE))) Posted: June 24, 2013 at 05:53 PM (#4476980)
After the last out of the 1979 World Series, fans in Memorial Stadium could be seen on the field running around the bases, my best friend of the time among them.

That's interesting, Andy, considering that the home team had just lost the World Series. How many fans do you reckon stormed the field? Were any Bucs fans?
   16. Flynn Posted: June 24, 2013 at 06:53 PM (#4476996)


And boy do I ever hate having to see those two idiot fans run the bases every time the clip gets shown.


I don't. To me it's part of the mythology of the moment. I remember seeing a documentary about the homer where people were saying that they were petrified when those two guys ran on the field; they honestly thought the two men were going to hurt Aaron for being a ###### who broke the Babe's record. That they turned out to only be congratulating him gave everybody a huge sigh of relief and reminded people that the vast majority of the viewing public wanted the Hammer to do it.
   17. Joe Bivens Will Take a Steaming Dump Posted: June 24, 2013 at 07:00 PM (#4477000)
“Fans were starting to go after the equipment on the steps of our dugout, and I used Chris’s bat to fight them off.”


But Yankees fans aren't self-entitled!
   18. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 24, 2013 at 07:03 PM (#4477001)
Cooperstown should embalm and stuff those two guys, along with Hank Aaron, to create a diorama reenactment when the time comes.
   19. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: June 24, 2013 at 07:16 PM (#4477009)
Reggie Jackson put on a batting helmet to play right field and then sprinted off the field at the end of the 1977 World Series because Yankee fans got so excited by his third home run, they started whipping stuff at him.
   20. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 24, 2013 at 07:38 PM (#4477015)
After the last out of the 1979 World Series, fans in Memorial Stadium could be seen on the field running around the bases, my best friend of the time among them.

That's interesting, Andy, considering that the home team had just lost the World Series. How many fans do you reckon stormed the field? Were any Bucs fans?


It probably wasn't that many, but it cost my friend a ride back to DC, since my former GF had to catch a train from DC to Philly the next morning and there was no ####### way that I was going to wait around for him to do his thing, especially given the rain and the time. Another group of friends I saw outside the park who'd been sitting with him said that he'd planned it all along, win or lose. When I saw him at work the next morning, he was ###### at me and I was double ###### at him, until finally he apologized. He's a great guy but one of the bigger flakes I've ever known, and I've known more than a few.

As for the fan breakdown, I'm not sure, but I hope that the group of Pirates wives who were sitting behind us in the upper deck and torturing us with "We Are Fam-i-lee" tried to run around the bases and fell on their big fat butts. I also wish the Orioles had given them better seats.
   21. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: June 24, 2013 at 08:24 PM (#4477045)
I know people stormed the field after the last out of the 1984 World Series, because I was one of them. (Er, the statue of limitations has run out by now, right, guys?)
   22. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 24, 2013 at 09:39 PM (#4477130)
I know people stormed the field after the last out of the 1984 World Series, because I was one of them. (Er, the statue of limitations has run out by now, right, guys?)

Okay, so that sets it back 5 years from what I'd thought. What about any of the subsequent World Series in places like KC or Minnesota or Toronto?
   23. Howie Menckel Posted: June 24, 2013 at 09:54 PM (#4477147)
"The last MLB team I recall having that happen was the '86 Mets. Those fans went nuts when the Mets won the division. I thought it was great but I don't recall it anytime after that. Heck, in the World Series the fans generally stayed off the field as best I can recall."

By bizarre luck, I attended both the final Mets and Yankees games of 1986 - and both were against the Red Sox.

We got tickets for the last 3 games of the season at Fenway Park (we only bought Fri-Sat-Sun for a 4-game series. turns out Fri was a rainout, so doubleheader Sat and finale Sunday).

The Red Sox had already clinched the division beforehand, and they got swept in action meaningless except for Mattingly's fruitless chase of a supposedly hurt Boggs for the batting title back when fans cared about the batting title.

In the 9th inning of the final meaningless game, Boston brought horses onto the perimeter a la Philly 1980. For what, we had no idea. Game ends, and ONE fan - I've always said his pals must have convinced him to leap the LF-CF fence and said they would follow - went onto the field. He was chased by fat Boston cops like a squirrel in traffic, to the delight of the rest of us. Almost made it, too, as they say.

I was also at Game 7 WS at Shea, with a buddy who got tickets from Dick Young. Hazier memories, but I'm guessing fans didn't swarm immediately, not sure if some got on the field later. I was still sitting behind home plate when Orosco and others eventually came back to the mound to celebrate...

   24. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 24, 2013 at 10:16 PM (#4477165)
Cooperstown should embalm and stuff those two guys, along with Hank Aaron, to create a diorama reenactment when the time comes.


I'd be all for that, if they can wrestle Aaron's head away from Ted Williams's son.
   25. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: June 25, 2013 at 12:30 AM (#4477266)
A related question: When was the last time that the goalposts were ever torn down after any football game? I do think that it's been quite awhile, but it used to be a common


I never saw goalposts come down faster than when Iowa State upset Nebraska in Ames in 1992. It took about 15 seconds. (the only time a Tom Osborne coached team lost to a team that finished with a losing record). Conversely it took KSU fans about 30 minutes to get them down in Manhattan after beating Nebraska for the first time in 30 years in 1998. Come to think of it I think I've attended six games where they came down, mostly Nebraska losses.
It has definitely subsided over the years as many of the goalposts are taken down by the security crews very quickly after a game.

Recall: Mich at UW '93, fans crushed, etc.

Iowa fans used to routinely storm the field after whipping the Gophers....at the Metrodome. They tore their goalposts down too one year. Happened in a KU/KSU game before too (road team fans tear down).
   26. QLE Posted: November 22, 2017 at 05:56 PM (#5580417)

Okay, so that sets it back 5 years from what I'd thought. What about any of the subsequent World Series in places like KC or Minnesota or Toronto?


Really late, I admit, but....

The 1985 World Series also ended with fans taking the field (starting at the 2:18 mark):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqAPmdnzxdE

Mounted police were used to keep them off in 1986 (they are especially visible at the 2:35 mark):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmODgrzd_b8

In 1987, it seems that a perimeter of foot security was enough to discourage it (visible starting at 2:36):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aQdU1L6CIA

The clips I can find of the ends to both the 1988 and 1989 World Series aren't really long enough to fully address it, but it seems that fans didn't take to the grounds after those Series.

The 1990 World Series ended with the road team winning, and, while no one took to the field, it's hard to tell from the footage if that's because of efforts to stop them or lack of interest:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52YyX7_gzrs

With 1991, the camera angles used complicate it a lot: it seems clear that police were used on the basepaths, but there seem to be some group running across the field in one of the overhead shots (starting at 2:42):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BT_MODis138

The 1992 footage confirms #12- people watching the coverage at the Skydome took the field, but not those in person in Atlanta:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKwinmoAR2w

In 1993, meanwhile, a couple of people do seem to rush the field when Joe Carter hits his homer, but a police perimeter kept that to a minimum (start viewing at 2:49):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGbh5UitRA8

Collectively, this seems to suggest that 1985 was the last World Series to end with the fans taking the field en masse.

Finally, it should also be noted that 1980 was something of a one-off in fan control- the 1981 and 1982 World Series also ended with fans taking the field (in 1982, overwhelming mounted police in the process), so it may have had more to do with the notoriety involving Philadelphia fans.
   27. Omineca Greg Posted: November 22, 2017 at 06:30 PM (#5580424)
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F),

Good to see your posts again.
   28. Adam Starblind Posted: November 22, 2017 at 06:45 PM (#5580430)
I think that pretty much marks the relevant timeline of when any spectator spontaneity at pro events was removed from the playing field during the postgame celebrations.


And the champagne celebrations are staged. With goggles.
   29. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 22, 2017 at 06:58 PM (#5580436)
So, how long would it have taken to provide clickable links in #26, 2 years?
   30. QLE Posted: November 22, 2017 at 07:31 PM (#5580451)
Is this better, or not quite right?

EDIT: Sorry if the tone seems off- Real Life has chosen to kick me in the teeth, and I'm not taking it well.....
   31. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: November 22, 2017 at 07:36 PM (#5580453)
When was the last time that the goalposts were ever torn down after any football game?


I know Oregon fans tore down the goalposts after beating USC at home at least once this century. That was before the team became a perennial contender (and then a perennial patsy again).
   32. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 22, 2017 at 07:51 PM (#5580455)
Sorry if the tone seems off . . .

No problem, I was just referencing the resurrection of the thread with an attempt at humor. Not great humor, not the best humor, just the good enough for BBTF (where no one clicks the links anyway) version,
   33. Omineca Greg Posted: November 23, 2017 at 05:44 AM (#5580520)
I was just referencing the resurrection of the thread with an attempt at humor

I didn't even realise how old this thread was until you mentioned it, so I guess RoyalsRetro isn't posting again. That's too bad.
   34. The Honorable Ardo Posted: November 24, 2017 at 05:22 AM (#5580656)
A Reddit thread on this topic concluded that the last MLB field invasion of note occurred in the Kingdome, after Seattle won the one-game playoff over the Angels in 1995 to capture the franchise's first AL West pennant.

Seattle's chief of police at the time, Norm Stamper, was forced to resign four years later after another instance of direct action by a crowd.
   35. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 24, 2017 at 08:43 AM (#5580662)
Double post
   36. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 24, 2017 at 08:50 AM (#5580664)
After the last out of the 1979 World Series, fans in Memorial Stadium could be seen on the field running around the bases, my best friend of the time among them.

That's interesting, Andy, considering that the home team had just lost the World Series. How many fans do you reckon stormed the field? Were any Bucs fans?


Probably, but along with most disgusted O's fans, I'd left the stadium immediately. My friend, who was also an Orioles fan but lived in a different world than most people, wound up having to get someone else to give him a ride back to DC. The next day he told me he just couldn't pass up what he saw as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

P.S. If you remember that game, you might also remember that it was raining, so maybe my friend was channeling his inner Rick Dempsey.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Okay, now that my question about when goalposts were last torn down has been answered (thanks to all), here's a related question: When was the last time the goalposts were both torn down and cut up into souvenirs? IOW when did goalposts begin being made of metal rather than wood?

And a somewhat related question: When did fans last run onto the field after football games and ask players for their chin straps? For many decades these were much sought after souvenirs, but since there's no way to identify them they have little or no value on the memorabilia market.

OTOH when Elroy Hirsch of the Rams retired after his HoF career, he was almost stripped naked by fans as he left the field after his final game.** I'm not sure if this ever happened before or since.

** Hirsch was also movie star handsome and had a huge fan base among women, sort of a football version of Elvis.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Finally, it should also be noted that 1980 was something of a one-off in fan control- the 1981 and 1982 World Series also ended with fans taking the field (in 1982, overwhelming mounted police in the process), so it may have had more to do with the notoriety involving Philadelphia fans.

I'm pretty sure there were mounted police on the field at Yankee Stadium after the clinching game of 1996, unless Wade Boggs brought his own horse with him for his victory lap.

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