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Tiger Stadium Bleacher Creatures?

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Were they as bad as Yankee bleacher creatures? I read in the "Baseball Hall of Shame" book that the bleacher creature's chants of "Eat ****" and "**** You!" caused them to close down the bleachers even. What was all that about?

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Nah, my experience of the CF bleachers at Tiger Stadium was that they weren't nasty like those other stadiums at all. But probably only sat there a dozen times over a 20-year span. Juvenile yes, lots of frat boys and bleached blonde girls, people who'd win tickets from WRIF, but usually pretty good spirit and vibe. Not necessarily the hardest-core baseball fans; in my experience, the real die-hards were just as likely to be in the lower deck in left. I only saw one real fight in the bleachers, a mouthy Jays fan getting coldcocked, down to the ground from one sudden punch with his shoulder deflecting off of the upper deck railing on the way down. Some flashing. I forget why the bleachers were shut down, probably some obscene chants. The Bleacher Creatures seemed to make the papers every week during the 35-5 start in '84, usually for new variations on the Wave (silent, slo-motion, reverse, etc.).

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http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9807E3D7173BF936A35756C0A963948260

Tigers Close Stands Again

UPI

Published: May 5, 1985

The Detroit Tigers closed their center-field bleacher seats indefinitely for the second time in five years after fans chanted obscenities following tonight's victory over Chicago.

Tigers President Jim Campbell said in a statement it was regrettable that the club had to take the action, but that it would not condone such activities.

There are approximately 10,000 bleacher seats in Tiger Stadium, and they are often sold out. The club closed its bleachers in 1980 because fans threw beach balls on the field. The Tigers rescinded that action after one game.

Better info from this next link, but I can't copy and paste the text

http://books.google.com/books?id=wZJQ5Qw7SPMC&pg=RA1-PA322&lpg=RA1-PA322&dq=%22jim+campbell%22+closed+bleachers&source=web&ots=dGwnj6t5Ot&sig=P6RINe-T8v0Tij6vBCFt_So7M5k&hl=en

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I remember being at a game in '86 or '87. We sat in the bleacher's that day and I remember fights breaking out left and right. The best was a man who was drunk who punched his wife or girlfriend in the face. The cops were chasing him up and down the stairs. Although deplorable in his behavior it was quite comical.

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That chant came during the "Less Filling, Tastes Great" days. It was modified at Tiger Stadium.

I don't know how bad it was compared to other places. I can tell you that in the old days firecrackers going off during a game wasn't unusual. But then again, I have a few games that it happened on the road.

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I like how when they reopened the Bleachers they used smaller cups for the beer and changed the beer to lite beer. I had no idea lite beer got you less drunk

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Opening day in 1999 was fun out there. Only time I saw there for one. It was like mardi gras.

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Opening day in 1999 was fun out there. Only time I saw there for one. It was like mardi gras.

If they played the Twins, i was out there too. GOOD TIMES

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I like how when they reopened the Bleachers they used smaller cups for the beer and changed the beer to lite beer. I had no idea lite beer got you less drunk

It wasn't lite beer per se, it was 2.3% alchohol beer. Otherwise called "near-beer."

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Still remember my last game at Tiger Stadium - 1997. Upper deck bleachers against the White Sox. Tony Clark hit a bomb up our way just to our left. I can't remember if the Tigers won or lost. I think the final score was 6-1 or 6-2. At least I shared my last game at Tiger Stadium with my wife, who was my girlfriend at the time. Great memories!

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Since I'm too young to have experienced the rowdy TS bleachers of the 1980's, could someone spell out exactly what the profane "great taste/less filling" variant was that got the bleachers shut down? (or was it simply that drunkards sectioned the bleachers in two where the right side would say "taste great" and left side would respond "less filling", etc.)

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Since I'm too young to have experienced the rowdy TS bleachers of the 1980's, could someone spell out exactly what the profane "great taste/less filling" variant was that got the bleachers shut down? (or was it simply that drunkards sectioned the bleachers in two where the right side would say "taste great" and left side would respond "less filling", etc.)

One group would say "Eff You!" and the other group would chant "Eat Poop!" (only they didn't say "poop" -- they used the word that rhymes with the name of the great Phillies third baseman in the 70s and 80s! :classic:).

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The bleachers could get rowdy, that's for sure. Back in the '70s, you could get a contact high from all the people smoking weed up there. They beefed up security in the mid-80s and that got toned down a bit, although you'd still see the occasional toking. Not good for a family event.

And there were some epic fights. One time I saw a Marine and a biker get into it. The Marine was running his mouth, acting like he was the baddest guy in the world, and this biker finally got up and beat the living crap out of him. The crowd was chanting "Gomer Pyle! Gomer Pyle!"

I also used to enjoy the cat-and-mouse game when the guards would try to take the beach balls away from fans. There were some real keystone cop moments!

My memory of the bleachers: It was fun, but you wouldn't want to take your kid there. And you should be able to take your kid anywhere in the ballpark, IMO.

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Wow this was really interesting to read. I'm a youngster still so my first game at Tiger Stadium didn't come until 1996. Why doesn't Comerica Park have these bleacher creatures???

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Wow this was really interesting to read. I'm a youngster still so my first game at Tiger Stadium didn't come until 1996. Why doesn't Comerica Park have these bleacher creatures???

The concourses ringing the entire field at Comerica makes a difference. At Tiger Stadium, you were caged into the CF bleachers. They'd let you move between the upper deck and lower deck but not even into the LF reserved. You know all those frat boys and tispy chicks milling about in left-center behind the bullpen and statues at Comerica -- they'd have headed to the CF bleachers at Tiger Stadium and you'd hear them but never come in contact with them unless you were in the bleachers too.

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The concourses ringing the entire field at Comerica makes a difference. At Tiger Stadium, you were caged into the CF bleachers. They'd let you move between the upper deck and lower deck but not even into the LF reserved. You know all those frat boys and tispy chicks milling about in left-center behind the bullpen and statues at Comerica -- they'd have headed to the CF bleachers at Tiger Stadium and you'd hear them but never come in contact with them unless you were in the bleachers too.

Another factor is the cost, IMO. Bleacher seats were $4 in the mid-80's, so I suspect a larger percentage of the fans in the bleachers (relative to today) were there for the atmosphere / involved in mixing it up rather than going to watch a baseball game, per se.

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Freep article about the significance of the bleachers and "bleacher creatures"...

Bleachers start to tumble at Tiger Stadium

By BILL McGRAW • MOTOR CITY JOURNAL • July 13, 2008

The jaws of the big trucks that are demolishing Tiger Stadium have started ripping apart the centerfield bleachers.

A gaping hole has opened on the stadium’s north end, along the Fisher Freeway service drive, and those hard, metal planks are hanging in shreds.

The bleachers are a truly historic part of the stadium and probably merit a historical plaque all to themselves. In the upper deck, the scene was part rock concert, part biker rally, part Jobbie Nooner and part Senior Skip Day at Metro beach.

By the 1980s, the fans who sat in the upper deck bleachers became known as “bleacher creatures,” and their wild and crazy behavior caused Tiger management to take the unprecedented step of closing all 10,000 seats for eight games in 1985 and posting signs that forbade obscene chanting.

The Tiger brass at the time was partly to blame. In Chicago, White Six owner Bill Veeck marketed fun and frivolity in the Comiskey Park bleachers and made money off of it. The Tigers didn’t get what was going on and let the crowds — largely young people — get out of hand.

There were bouncing beach balls, marijuana, fist fights, food fights, lots of beer, naughty chants, nudity and humor. When Yankee slugger Dave Winfield came to bat in Detroit after he accidently had killed a seagull in Toronto with a thrown ball, nearly everyone in the upper deck stood and flapped their arms like birds.

The 1980s might have been the wild decade, but it certainly wasn’t the first time trouble brewed in the bleachers. On Opening Day 1974, when streaking was the cool thing to do, many fans — all male — took off their clothes and slid down the banisters (sidesaddle) and ran up and down the aisles. A couple of fans grabbed the bottom of the scoreboard and swung back and forth. The temperature was 38 degrees.

In the 1960s, bleacher fans threw cherry bombs at the flamboyant Yankee outfielder Joe Pepitone. In 1960, a fan was convicted of throwing eggs from the bleachers at Cleveland’s Jimmy Pearsall, who became a target because he was suffering emotional problems.

Beyond the anything-goes vibe, the bleachers were a great place to soak up sun, feel the breeze and watch the game, even if you were more than 440 feet from home plate. And the best thing: They were cheap — 75 cents in the 1960s, and $5 in 1999, the Tigers’ finals season at Tiger Stadium.

Extra innings: The Free Press reported last week that city officials will save the 125-foot flag pole that sits in the Tiger Stadium outfield. Now that demolition crews have ripped open a large hole in the stadium’s façade, you can see that the flag pole is flying a brand new American flag. … You can also see that the outfield grass, with almost no maintenance in several years, remains amazingly green.

Link: http://freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080713/BLOG07/80713030/1081&GID=rtYHP+QA70oXUJdRrreuRnVJXhSjXrDvVv0d5XqEgrs%3D

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Ha, I don't remember that greeting for Winfield, but sounds funny.

By the way, I wonder if any one section of the ballpark instigated the throwing of debris at Ducky Medwick in the '34 series or whether it was a spontaneous free for all coming from all over.

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Back in 1990 on Shrine Night Double Header night vs. Seattle, I remember Ken Griffey Jr. walking out to CF during the second game. The bleachers were less than 1/2 full (more like 30%). Griffey - for some reason didn't realize everyone could see him - and turned around - stuck his hand down his pants and 'scratched/adjusted' his balls. Everyone started yelling at him "HEY GRIFFEY! KEEP SCRATCHING YOUR BALLS!!!" Everyone was laughing - including Griffey. He looked up and was so embarrassed. For the rest of the game, he was heckled - with everyone yelling for him to scratch his balls, and he took it well. He laughed as much as we did. He actually was laughing at one point when a ball was hit to CF and he had to recover to make the catch. That day was the day I decided I liked 'The Kid'. He took the Bleacher Creatures heckling in good spirit.

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I remember my dad telling me a story of being up in those bleachers as a young teen in the mid-sixties and said he bought a big glass of pop that when finished had about a pound of ice left in it so he went to try and chuck it out and over from several rows back. When he tossed it, the wind caught it and blew it down about 10 rows from him and hit some big drunk guy in the back of the head. He said he though for sure he was dead, the dude stood up and punched out the guy behind him and a brawl ensued as he carefully walked away.

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Back in 1990 on Shrine Night Double Header night vs. Seattle, I remember Ken Griffey Jr. walking out to CF during the second game. The bleachers were less than 1/2 full (more like 30%). Griffey - for some reason didn't realize everyone could see him - and turned around - stuck his hand down his pants and 'scratched/adjusted' his balls. Everyone started yelling at him "HEY GRIFFEY! KEEP SCRATCHING YOUR BALLS!!!" Everyone was laughing - including Griffey. He looked up and was so embarrassed. For the rest of the game, he was heckled - with everyone yelling for him to scratch his balls, and he took it well. He laughed as much as we did. He actually was laughing at one point when a ball was hit to CF and he had to recover to make the catch. That day was the day I decided I liked 'The Kid'. He took the Bleacher Creatures heckling in good spirit.

Does anyone else remember this game? Anyone from the bleachers that night out here? Probably not - but if so - that would be pretty cool!

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It's funny but I remember even as an 8 year old being in the bleachers the night the tigers won the pennant in 68. Even then there were two drunks, and some character called "Red" who everyone seemed to know. I can remember my dad being protective about taking us kids up there as though he taken us to a rough bar or something. Still Gate 8 was his all time favorite.

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