The year was 1979 and neither the Detroit Tigers or chicago white sox were World Series bound. In fact, both teams finished well behind each of their division winners that season. However, the 1979 clubs for each team will always be remembered for one wild night at Comiskey Park in Chicago.

It is exactly thirty-eight years ago this evening that the Tigers and White Sox were scheduled to play a two-night doubleheader in Comiskey Park in front of a sell out crowd in Chicago.

The game wasn’t a sell out due to how well the teams were playing, in fact far from it. The old Chicago stadium was filled beyond capacity for one reason only - it was Disco Demolition Night.

Steve Dahl changes disco, Comiskey Park forever

This wacky idea of destroying disco came to fruition by local disc jockey Steve Dahl and his loyal followers that he dubbed "The Insane Coho Lips." To many fans of rock and roll, blues and other musical types, disco music was not accepted, and trying to eliminate it all together seemed like a great idea.

Dahl, dressed like an Army general, was ready to end the war against disco music. Whether he really did is debatable, but the explosion Dahl created on the field set off an incident never before seen in baseball history. With the admission to the game on Disco Demolition Night being just $1.00, and beers 98 cents a piece, the recipe for disaster was set.

When the final out was recorded in Game 1, a 4-1 Detroit Tigers victory, Dahl was supposed to blow up some disco records in the outfield, let the crowd cheer, and promptly the Tigers and Sox would get on to Game 2. It didn’t quite go down that way.

The Aftermath

After Dahl blew up several thousand disco albums, he took a victory lap around the ballpark, waving to thousands of cheering fans. What Dahl didn’t realize, is what was about to follow was nothing short of mayhem! Fans began throwing bottles, lighting off fireworks and storming onto the field by the thousands. Centerfield was literally set on fire! Even Chicago police were left in a no win situation as the fans outnumbered the men in blue by the hundreds.

Fans stole home plate, began running the bases, and even set down blankets to seemingly camp in the outfield, all while then Chicago White Sox announcer Harry Caray tried to talk them into leaving the field before the game had to be postponed.

After a long delay, Game 2 of the doubleheader was forfeited by the White Sox, giving the Tigers the win, and a sweep of the two game set that evening. It is actually incredible that not many people were injured or killed for that matter, and only 39 arrests were reported.

Now, nearly 40 years later, Elmhurst History Museum has an exhibit called "Disco Demolition: The Night Disco Died."

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