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Monday, October 26, 2020

Why Baseball Fans Stopped Rushing the Field

Channeling their inner Frank Rizzo—whose strong-arm mayoral reign of intimidation ended only months earlier—Philadelphia City Hall’s pooh-bahs decided there would not be a repeat of the bedlam that occurred in New York and elsewhere should the Phils prevail over the Royals in Game 6. So they positioned a platoon of mounted policemen, along with their K-9 corps, in the bowels of Veterans Stadium that evening. During the seventh inning, with the Phils winning 4–0, the K-9s were unleashed onto the field to a chorus of boos. “I thought I was in Venezuela when I saw the dogs,” Royals second baseman Frank White told a reporter after the game. “That’s the only place I’ve ever seen that.” At one point, umpire Bill Kunkel instructed the players that there would soon be policemen on the playing field during the game, and if the ball hit any of them it would be in play. Suddenly the World Series became surreal. “Who wants to run into a horse?” White asked. “It just doesn’t seem like a baseball game.”

The strong-arm tactics worked. After the final out, save for a few strays, the fans in attendance concluded that it wasn’t worth confronting the phalanx of German shepherds ringing the field. They remained in the stands—and baseball hasn’t been the same since.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 26, 2020 at 06:22 PM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: phillies

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   1. Howie Menckel Posted: October 27, 2020 at 12:25 AM (#5985606)

23. Howie Menckel Posted: June 24, 2013 at 09:54 PM (#4477147)

"The last MLB team I recall having [storming the field] 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...
   2. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: October 27, 2020 at 01:31 AM (#5985614)
All the grounds in the USA are policing this incorrectly. Let me enlighten you.

Around 12 years ago I flew to NZ for an NZ/Australia rugby match. These are a pretty big deal down here so to see one at Eden Park in Auckland was great.

Of course NZ won and at the end of the game they presented the Bledisloe Cup to the winning team so both teams stay on the field after the match. This is where the fun begins.

During the presentation occasionally some drunken dude climbs over the 3 foot wall and runs onto the field. Security however, is made up of guys who are essentially the All Black 2nd and 3rd squads, so when someone goes onto the ground they are quickly caught and tackled hard. Like full on rugby tackle where they go chest high for the ball and all type of deal and just flatten these guys. Once tackled though, they just escort the guy back into the stands around from where he came from and that's that. Until the next guy. Then the same quick chase, hard tackle and escort back to the stands. It was like it's own sport and the crowd just loved it. You've got be seriously drunk to want to go out onto the field and have some 120KG Maori rugby player tackle you.
   3. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: October 27, 2020 at 08:08 AM (#5985618)
I understand WHY it's a good idea not to have fans rushing the field/court after a championship but man did I enjoy it. Watching the clock click down in 1984 and 1986 as the fans swarmed the Boston Garden floor was awesome.

I was part of one of the mellowest field rushes ever. In 2013 the Sox had an event in ballpark for season ticket holders to launch the parade. Speeches etc...then everyone boarded the duckboats and off they went. There were, maybe 10,000 people, probably fewer, in the ballpark along the first base side mostly and a few people started stepping over the low walls and through the gates. A big sign went up on the scoreboard to stay off the field and the security guards were saying "no, don't come on the field, stay back" with all the enthusiasm of a 5th grade lunch lady asking if your tater tots were OK. We all wandered around the field, took pictures, scooped up some grass and dirt and off we went.
   4. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: October 27, 2020 at 08:42 AM (#5985621)
Watching post-game crowd rushes from the 1970s is both very exciting...and kind of scary.

Look at this clip of Chris Chambliss trying to round the bases after winning the 1976 ALCS at Yankee Stadium on a walk-off home run. (

It is insane. There are dozens of cops who come flooding out of the outfield bullpen, but it's after the ball clears the fence - and by then, it was chaos on the field, and the cops were basically worthless. Look at Chambliss as he rounds second base. It is dangerous, and Chambliss is clearly concerned about 1) not getting assaulted by a drunk mob, and 2) figuring out how the f@@k he is going to get to home plate.

Carlton Fisk in 1975 is similar, but for whatever reason, he is able to get almost to home plate before the chaos really takes off.
   5. Rally Posted: October 27, 2020 at 08:53 AM (#5985623)
I think I remember seeing a line of police on the sidelines for game 5 of the 1986 ALCS. Anticipating the Angel celebration that never happened. I could be wrong though, it was 34 years ago. The memories of that team kind of blend in with memories of watching a police lieutenant named Drebbin stop our designated hitter from killing the queen.
   6. asinwreck Posted: October 27, 2020 at 10:14 AM (#5985642)
Timely Frank Rizzo reference.
   7. spycake Posted: October 27, 2020 at 11:03 AM (#5985657)
I think I remember seeing a line of police on the sidelines for game 5 of the 1986 ALCS. Anticipating the Angel celebration that never happened. I could be wrong though, it was 34 years ago.
It appears you are correct -- look at the 3:22:42 mark of this video, for example:
   8. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 27, 2020 at 11:44 AM (#5985669)
look at the 3:22:42 mark
"Huh? That would only be about the sixth inning." -- 2020 playoff baseball viewer
   9. winnipegwhip Posted: October 27, 2020 at 02:14 PM (#5985700)
Look at this clip of Chris Chambliss trying to round the bases after winning the 1976 ALCS at Yankee Stadium on a walk-off home run. (

When I showed the Chambliss clip to my son a few years ago he said it looks like his mom/my wife who is trying to leave the school she teaches and her trying to avoid helicopter parents who feel they can just show up at the end of the day to discuss things. We now send that clip back and forth whenever she is more than an hour late getting home after school.
   10. winnipegwhip Posted: October 27, 2020 at 02:23 PM (#5985701)
I have witnessed a Grey Cup with unruly fans. In 1991 and the game winner decided between Calgary and Toronto they were trying to run a couple of plays around mid-field to finish the game. People were making their way down to field level at Winnipeg Stadium. The funniest part for me was when the offense was in formation and trying to run a play they had to stop because some fan had set himself up in a 3 point stance 5 yards behind the tailback. The officials couldn't allow the play to start until this guy was chased off the field.

The only time I ever appeared on the playing area after a game was when the Jets played their last game before moving to Phoenix in 1996. It was a playoff game against Detroit and when it ended the players had left. A few people hopped over the glass and went on to the ice. Others followed. My wife said to me, "Go ahead. I know you want to." I worked my way down. Went over the glass. Helped my wife onto the ice as well. It was now packed with people just standing there. The funny part was at center ice I bumped into a cousin who I had not seen in years and was also a big hockey fan. We looked at each other and said, "It figures, I would meet you here at this time."
   11. Bull Pain Posted: October 27, 2020 at 03:08 PM (#5985712)
The 1984 Tigers World Series field storming was no joke. I've always found it strange that the tradition screeched to a halt in 1986 considering if any World Series win warranted an on-field riot, it was those Mets.
   12. Karl from NY Posted: October 27, 2020 at 04:22 PM (#5985730)
This still happens in college football, I think? I haven't watched much of it in several years, but I think it's at least common in big rivalry games when the home team wins.
   13. caspian88 Posted: October 27, 2020 at 04:44 PM (#5985737)
After watching the Chambliss clip, there's a part of me that wishes the umpires and commissioner had declared the Yankees forfeit and awarded the game to the Royals.
   14. winnipegwhip Posted: October 27, 2020 at 05:09 PM (#5985745)
After watching the Chambliss clip, there's a part of me that wishes the umpires and commissioner had declared the Yankees forfeit and awarded the game to the Royals.

There is footage on the WPIX broadcast of Chambliss going back through the crowd later and stepping in the region of home plate.

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