As Clevelanders well know, we are fast approaching the 40th anniversary of one of the most infamous days in Cleveland Indians history. Fabled in t-shirt, story and song, the events of June 4, 1974 will forever be a part of the history of the Indians and of Cleveland itself.
As part of my job with the Michael Schwartz Library of Cleveland State University, I got to write a little piece about the game and its aftermath for our library’s blog. Furthermore, along with IPL co-owner Stephanie Liscio and IPL intern Alex Kaufman, I had the chance to assist ESPN with some research for this video tribute to Ten Cent Beer Night, hosted by Bob Golic of the Cleveland Browns.
I was a junior in high school when the game took place. Our American history class was given the assignment of doing an oral history. We had to find someone older than ourselves and ask them questions about their life. Of course, I waited until the last minute to do this project, and I hit upon the original idea of interviewing my own parents. The game wasn’t televised that evening, but my family listened to it on the radio as I was doing my interview, recorded on my monaural GE cassette recorder. It’s long gone now, but what I wouldn’t give for a copy of that C-90 cassette, with my squeaky teen voice and vapid questions, my parents’ bemused responses, and the sounds of Joe Tait and Herb Score as they tried to describe what was going on at the Stadium that night.
Clearly this was not Cleveland’s finest hour. But it is part of who we are, or at least part of who we used to be.