1974 Cleveland Indians season

1974 Cleveland Indians season


Regular season

During the season, Gaylord Perry became the last pitcher to win at least 20 games in one season for the Indians in the 20th century.[4]

Ten Cent Beer Night

Ten Cent Beer Night was an ill-fated promotion held by the American League's Cleveland Indians during a game against the Texas Rangers at Cleveland Municipal Stadium on June 4, 1974.

The idea behind the promotion was to offer as many eight-ounce (237 mL) cups of Stroh's beer as the fans could drink for just 10¢ apiece, thus increasing ticket sales. However, the stunt also had the effect of slowly turning the calm and orderly baseball fans into a rowdy and raucous crowd devoid of inhibition.

The game had a special significance for both clubs, as there had been a bench-clearing brawl in a Rangers/Indians game one week earlier at Arlington Stadium in Texas, during a "cheap beer night" there.[5] In Texas, the trouble had started in the bottom of the fourth inning with a walk to the Rangers' Tom Grieve, followed by a Lenny Randle single.

The next batter hit a double play ball to Indians third baseman John Lowenstein; he stepped on the third base bag to retire Grieve and threw the ball to second base, but Randle disrupted the play with a hard slide into second baseman Jack Brohamer. The Indians retaliated in the bottom of the eighth when pitcher Milt Wilcox threw behind Randle's head. Randle eventually laid down a bunt. When Wilcox attempted to field it and tag Randle out, Randle hit him with a forearm.

Indians first baseman John Ellis responded by punching Randle, and both benches emptied for a brawl. During the melee, the intoxicated crowd became rowdy and threw beer on the Indians' players.

Six days later, the Ten Cent Beer Night promotion induced over 25,000 fans to come to Municipal Stadium for the Rangers/Indians game. Early in the game, the Rangers took a 5-1 lead. Meanwhile, throughout the contest, the crowd in attendance continually misbehaved. A woman ran out to the Indians' on-deck circle and lifted her shirt and a naked man sprinted to second base as Grieve hit his second home run of the game. A father and son pair ran onto the outfield and mooned the fans in the bleachers one inning later.[6]

The ugliness escalated when Cleveland's Leron Lee hit a line drive into the stomach of Rangers pitcher Ferguson Jenkins, after which Jenkins dropped to the ground. The fans in the upper deck of Municipal Stadium cheered, then chanted "Hit 'em again! Hit 'em again! Harder! Harder!"

The Rangers later argued a call in which Lee was called safe in a close play at third base, spiking Jenkins with his cleats in the process and forcing him to leave the game. The Rangers angry response to this call enraged Cleveland fans, who again began throwing objects onto the field. In the bottom of the ninth, the Indians managed to rally and tie the game at five runs apiece, but with a crowd that had been consuming as much alcohol as it could for nine innings, the situation finally boiled over.

After Texas outfielder Jeff Burroughs violently reacted to a fan stealing his glove and cap, the Texas players, led by manager Billy Martin, charged onto the field with bats. A huge number of intoxicated fans, some armed with knives, chains, and portions of stadium seats that they had torn apart, surged onto the field; others hurled bottles from the stands. Realizing the Rangers might be in danger of their lives, Ken Aspromonte, the Indians' manager, ordered his players to grab bats and help the Rangers.

As a result, umpire crew chief Nestor Chylak, realizing that order would not be restored in a timely fashion, forfeited the game to Texas. He too was a victim of the rioters as one struck him with part of a stadium seat, cutting his head.[7] His hand was also cut by a thrown rock.

As Joe Tait and Herb Score called the riot live on radio, Score mentioned the lack of police protection; a riot squad from the Cleveland police department finally arrived to restore order.

Season standings

AL East W L GB Pct.
Baltimore Orioles 91 71 -- .562
New York Yankees 89 73 2 .549
Boston Red Sox 84 78 7 .519
Cleveland Indians 77 85 14 .475
Milwaukee Brewers 76 86 15 .469
Detroit Tigers 72 90 19 .444

Notable transactions


1974 Cleveland Indians
Pitchers Catchers



Other batters



Player stats


Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
1B Ellis, JohnJohn Ellis 128 477 136 .285 10 64
2B Brohamer, JackJack Brohamer 101 315 85 .270 2 30
LF Lowenstein, JohnJohn Lowenstein 140 508 123 .242 8 48

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Lee, LeronLeron Lee 79 232 54 .233 5 25
Lis, JoeJoe Lis 57 109 22 .202 6 16
Chambliss, ChrisChris Chambliss 17 67 22 .328 0 7
Smith, TommyTommy Smith 23 31 3 .097 0 0


Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Perry, GaylordGaylord Perry 37 322.1 21 13 2.51 216
Perry, JimJim Perry 36 252 17 12 2.96 71
Peterson, FritzFritz Peterson 29 152.2 9 14 4.36 52
Bosman, DickDick Bosman 25 127.1 7 5 4.10 56
Arlin, SteveSteve Arlin 11 43.1 2 5 6.60 20
Tidrow, DickDick Tidrow 4 19 1 3 7.11 8

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Buskey, TomTom Buskey 51 2 6 17 3.19 40
Wilcox, MiltMilt Wilcox 41 2 2 4 4.67 33
Beene, FredFred Beene 32 4 4 2 4.93 35
Ellingsen, BruceBruce Ellingsen 16 1 1 0 3.21 16

Awards and honors


All-Star Game

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Oklahoma City 89ers American Association Red Davis
AA San Antonio Brewers Texas League Woody Smith
A Reno Silver Sox California League Joe Azcue and Del Youngblood
Rookie GCL Indians Gulf Coast League Wilfredo Calvino



  • 1974 Cleveland Indians team page at Baseball Reference
  • 1974 Cleveland Indians team page at www.baseball-almanac.com