clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

75 Years and Counting: The Story of the 1974 Cleveland Indians

Better than ‘73

Texas Rangers v Cleveland Indians

After one of the worst pitching seasons in franchise history the Cleveland Indians needed to do something to address their rotation. They had Gaylord Perry and that was about it, Dick Tidrow was at least competent, but everyone else was flat out bad. There’s the old saying of “Sphan and Sain and pray for rain” well the Indians had, as one CTC user put it, “Tidrow and Perry then things get hairy.” They desperately needed another competent starter, and they found one! They acquired Gaylord’s brother Jim Perry who would kick off his second stint with the team and had one of his better seasons, finishing with a record of 17-12 and an ERA of 2.96.

Unfortunately for the Indians the remaining Trio of Fritz Peterson, Dick Bosman, and Steve Kline wasn’t exactly striking fear into the hearts of opposing hitters. The brothers perry were enough to stabilize the rotation as they shaved 130 runs off of the previous season’s total.

The offense was once again solid but unremarkable. The OF/DH trio of Gamble, Spikes, and Hendrick as well as first baseman John Ellis paced the offsne, each of them posting an OPS above league average. Gamble led the way with an .833 OPS with 19 home runs and a solid .363 OBP. First baseman Chris Chambliss would be dealt to the Yankees for spare parts after a scorching hot start to the season that saw him hit .330 in his first 17 games.

The Indians actually found themselves in first place as late as July 12th, but in homage to the teams of the ‘50s they promptly went on a 6 game skid to remove all doubt. From there they’d play the second half to a 29-40 record to finish 77-85 and 14 games out of first place.

But let’s be honest, you didn’t come here for a recap of the 1974 season to hear about baseball. No sir. If you came here for one thing it’s to hear about the thing Cleveland baseball is arguably most known for. The infamous, notorious, legendary 10-Cent Beer Night.

Look, let’s be honest, there isn’t much I can say about 10 cent beer night that hasn’t already been said. Suffice it to say that 10 cent beer night went about as well as you’d expect a 10 cent beer night to go. Fans brought firecrackers, they drank 10 cent beers, there were multiple streakers (a couple that got away too!), and a full on riot. It was great.

The one thing I would say though is that the biggest mistake of the night wasn’t the 10 cent beers, nor was it how quickly they served them. The biggest blunder of the night belongs to the PA announcer who in a stroke of brilliance decided that saying “please don’t throw things onto the field” to a crowd full of drunken baseball fans would be a good idea. The drunks responded to the statement about as well as you’d expect, and the situation got so out of control that the game had to be called. Again, I blame the PA announcer.

The Youtube channel Weird History has a far better video on the event than I could possibly hope to imitate, I’ll leave it here for your enjoyment

To quote the late, great (not dead) Bruce Dreannan, I love ya Cleveland

Join us tomorrow as we break down Frank Robinson and the 1975 Cleveland Indians.