Saturday, June 04, 2005


June 4th, 1951

Indians Hold "Beat Eddie Lopat" Night

That's the kind of promotion you don't see anymore. Lopat had beaten the Indians eleven times in a row, and in an effort to defeat him, the Indians held this night. The giveaway that night was lucky rabbits’ feet, going to the first 15,000 fans. Perhaps fearing it wasn't enough, a Cleveland fan--Lopat would later call him a "drunk"--ran onto the field before the game and threw a black cat at Lopat while he was warming up. Whether from hoodoo, good luck for the Indians and bad for Lopat or simply the law of averages, the Indians managed to break the streak, as they scored five runs in the first inning and went on to a 8-2 victory.

You wouldn't see this kind of promotion these days for any number of reasons. For one thing, you would probably get a million shrill sports columnists and sports radio hosts complaining about how "classless" it was and so in, indicating further just how much they lack a sense of humor. More practically, if you tried to give away 15,000 rabbit feet, you would have at least an equal number of PETA protesters standing outside your stadium, throwing buckets of red paint at everyone walking in. Not a good night at the ballpark.

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