While the Dodgers were outraged with their forfeiture Thursday night against the St. Louis Cardinals, Mike Veeck was quite giddy.
“I’ll forever be the godfather of forfeiture,” he said, “but I finally got it off my back. Who would ever have believed that the Dodgers, those stoic, traditional blue bloods, would be responsible for making me a free man? The barons of baseball will be talking about this for a while.
“Ain’t it beautiful?”
Veeck organized Disco Demolition Night on July 12, 1979, when Chicago White Sox fans paid 98 cents for a ticket and blew up disco records between games of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers at Comiskey Park. Thousands of fans stormed the field and the White Sox had to forfeit the second game.
“I’ve spent my entire life trying to live that down,” said Veeck, now president of the St. Paul Saints of the Northern League. “I was blackballed from the game I love for 15 years. Nobody forgave me. . . .
“The best thing the Dodgers can do is to take responsibility for it. Don’t blame the fans. Don’t blame the umpires. You take responsibility. Don’t assign the blame to somebody else.
“To blame anybody but the Dodger management is a mistake. In fact, if I were the Dodgers, I’d come right back with a promotion. Let’s see, what’s the reverse of a giveaway night?
“How about line the players on the field before the game and let them throw baseballs at the fans?”