35 Years Ago, White Sox Forfeit after Disco Demolition Disaster

Disco Demolition Night: On July 12, 1979, a promotion mocking disco music incited a crowd of 90,000 to trash Comiskey Park and storm the field, forcing umpires to declare a forfeit for the White Sox. Fans who brought disco records to Comiskey Park would be admitted into the White Sox doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers for just 98 cents; the collection of records would then be destroyed by Dahl in an on-field ceremony between games.

The ubiquitous disco music craze annoyed many, including popular DJ Steve Dahl. The players completed the first game nervously as fans tossed records onto the field like Frisbees, or threw fireworks. With the crowd chanting “disco sucks,” Dahl walked out to center field dressed in military regalia and set off an explosion of disco records. Many in the crowd took this as a cue to storm the field, and they began tearing up grass, scaling foul poles, starting fires and overturning the batting cage.

Chicago police finally restored order after about 37 minutes, but the umpires ruled that the field was unplayable, forcing the White Sox to forfeit the second game.

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